Week of January 30, 2017

This Week in Physics
For Monday (first period and eight/nine periods) or Tuesday (all youze other people) please take notes on Podcast 1: The Law of Conservation of Momentum from unit 5. We will go over these together and will then complete assignment 1 in class, followed by a quiz on the day after we finish. This will be a bit of a disrupted week due to the spirit assembly and other conflicts, so stay tuned in class for further instructions and assignments.

Cool Science of the Week
In last week’s CSotW entry we mentioned climate refugees. A climate refugee is a person whose homeland becomes uninhabitable due to the effects of climate change. For example, Isle de Jean Charles in Louisiana will soon be flooded with seawater beyond the point of habitability. Rising sea levels allow salty seawater to infiltrate soil and groundwater, causing plants to die and making agriculture impossible. It also “poisons” sources of drinking water with salt. Moreover these coastal areas are more susceptible to the stronger storms that come along with climate change. Some island countries are facing complete elimination as all of their livable land disappears. For example, the island nation of Kiribati used its remaining resources to buy land from Fiji to relocate their entire country. One of the most heartfelt problems faced by climate refugees is the loss not only of their property and economic stability but also the loss of their entire culture as people leave and move into the wide world. What solutions can you think of to help climate refugees?

Week of January 23, 2017

Hello! 🙂

This Week in Physics
For Monday please finish  assignment 3. We’ll go over this and do our goal packets on Monday in class. For Tuesday please take notes on PODCAST 4: Power. We go over this and will then do  assignment 4 together in class. On the day after we do assignment 4 we will take a quiz over the topics of power and the law of conservation of mechanical energy. This quiz will be worth twice the points of a normal quiz. Finally we will complete the  Conservation of Energy Lab. Next up? Momentum!

Cool Science of the Week
Or, rather, hot science of the week. Scientists this past week released 2016 climate data that shows that, once again, we’ve set another record for the hottest year ever. The global average temperature last year was 1.7 degrees Fahrenheit higher than the average for the entire 20th century, and in some locales (notably near the poles) this average was around four degrees higher! Obviously this results in melted sea ice, which has reached its lowest values in thousands of years. (Melting sea ice is a major topic that we should dive into another time! Check out 2017 compared to 2016 in the second graph below!)

temperature map
ice graph

Weeks of January 9 and January 16, 2017

Congratulations on nearing completion of your first semester of physics! That’s an amazing accomplishment! This blog post covers exam week and the following week. Note that there is no school on Friday, January 13 due to a teacher work day, and there is no school on Monday, January 16, as we observe Martlin Luther King, Jr. Day.

These Weeks in Physics
You will take your exam during the class period of your main physics class (not your lab period.) The schedule is below.  The exam is comprehensive and will cover all material from units 1-4. Your learning goal packets are your study guides. If you’ve lost your goal packets, you can find them posted at the top of each unit webpage.

For Tuesday, January 17 please take notes on Podcast 3: Conservation of Mechanical Energy. We will go over this in class and will then do assignment 3 and a the Conservation of Energy Lab.  Finally we will do a short topic, power, followed by assignment 4 and then a quiz over both goal set 3 and goal set 4, as announced. This will almost certainly take us well into the week of January 23.

Cool Science of these Weeks
You may remember that when you were back at Troy (or whatever school you went to in fifth or sixth grade) there was a massive 9.0 magnitude earthquake in Japan that destroyed the country’s Fukushima nuclear power plant, leaking large amounts of radioactive material into the Pacific ocean. Last month scientists announced that the radioactive material, cesium-134, has finally reached America’s coast, showing up in Oregon’s waters and beaches. The levels are fairly low and don’t pose an immediate threat to life or the environment but caused significant damage in the region where the earthquake and leak originally occurred. What do you think about the use of nuclear power in earthquake-prone regions?