Week of February 27, 2017

There are four more weeks until the end of the third quarter, and March starts this week. Time is flying by!

This Week on Physics
On Monday we will take a quiz over goal set 2 (classifying collisions based on system kinetic energy.) Also for Monday please take notes on PODCAST 3: The Impulse-Momentum Theorem. We will discuss this podcast in class and will then analyze impulse and momentum change data through the Impulse-Momentum Theorem Lab. After that we will do  assignment 4. Expect the momentum unit test by the end of this week or (more likely) early next week.

Cool Science of the Week
This week NASA announced the discovery of a solar system a mere 40 light years away (relatively close) that has SEVEN small, rocky planets, three of which are in the “habitable zone,” the region around a star in which a planet could have liquid water and a temperate climate and could, therefore, harbor life.* The system is called TRAPPIST-1, and the planets are so close together that if you lived on one, you’d be able to see other planets in the sky in such detail that you could see their atmospheres! Scientists’ next step is to analyze chemical signatures of the planets to determine if they have water along with other chemical conditions required by Earth-like life forms. Video link

Do you think if you lived there you’d take vacations from one planet to another?

*Given how close they are to the star, the intensity of the star’s radiation, and the potential for atmospheric composition, all seven could have liquid water!