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8.2 Sound Waves
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In this unit, students develop ideas related to how sounds are produced, how they travel through media, and how they affect objects at a distance. Their investigations are motivated by trying to account for a perplexing anchoring phenomenon — a truck is playing loud music in a parking lot and the windows of a building across the parking lot visibly shake in response to the music.

They make observations of sound sources to revisit the K–5 idea that objects vibrate when they make sounds. They figure out that patterns of differences in those vibrations are tied to differences in characteristics of the sounds being made. They gather data on how objects vibrate when making different sounds to characterize how a vibrating object’s motion is tied to the loudness and pitch of the sounds they make. Students also conduct experiments to support the idea that sound needs matter to travel through, and they will use models and simulations to explain how sound travels through matter at the particle level.

Subject:
Physical Science
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Assessment
Data Set
Diagram/Illustration
Lesson Plan
Reading
Simulation
Student Guide
Unit of Study
Author:
Boston College Susan Kowalski
BSCS Science Learning Gail Housman
David Wooster Middle School Sara Ryner
Ideal Elementary School Jamie Noll
North Shore Country Day School Michael Novak
Northwestern University Chris Newlan
Northwestern University Tyler Scaletta
Renee Affolter
United Junior High School Katie Van Horne
Date Added:
08/05/2020
Acoustic Mirrors
Rating

Students play and record the “Mary Had a Little Lamb” song using musical instruments and analyze the intensity of the sound using free audio editing and recording software. Then they use hollow Styrofoam half-spheres as acoustic mirrors (devices that reflect and focus sound), determine the radius of curvature of the mirror and calculate its focal length. Students place a microphone at the acoustic mirror focal point, re-record their songs, and compare the sound intensity on plot spectrums generated from their recordings both with and without the acoustic mirrors. A worksheet and KWL chart are provided.

Subject:
Mathematics
Geometry
Physical Science
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Author:
Nick Breen
Steven C. Thedford
Date Added:
08/11/2020
The Advantage of Machines
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In this lesson, students learn about work as defined by physical science and see that work is made easier through the use of simple machines. Already encountering simple machines everyday, students will be alerted to their widespread uses in everyday life. This lesson serves as the starting point for the Simple Machines Unit.

Subject:
Engineering
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Glen Sirakavit
Janet Yowell
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Melissa Straten
Michael Bendewald
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Aerodynamics of Viscous Fluids, Fall 2003
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Boundary layers as rational approximations to the solutions of exact equations of fluid motion. Physical parameters influencing laminar and turbulent aerodynamic flows and transition. Effects of compressibility, heat conduction, and frame rotation. Influence of boundary layers on outer potential flow and associated stall and drag mechanisms. Numerical solution techniques and exercises. The major focus of 16.13 is on boundary layers, and boundary layer theory subject to various flow assumptions, such as compressibility, turbulence, dimensionality, and heat transfer. Parameters influencing aerodynamic flows and transition and influence of boundary layers on outer potential flow are presented, along with associated stall and drag mechanisms. Numerical solution techniques and exercises are included.

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Author:
Merchant, Ali A.
Date Added:
01/01/2003
Aeronautics and Astronautics
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These courses, produced by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, introduce the fundamental concepts and approaches of aerospace engineering, highlighted through lectures on aeronautics, astronautics, and design. MIT˘ď‹ď_s Aerospace and Aeronautics curriculum is divided into three parts: Aerospace information engineering, Aerospace systems engineering, and Aerospace vehicles engineering. Visitors to this site will find undergraduate and graduate courses to fit all three of these areas, from Exploring Sea, Space, & Earth: Fundamentals of Engineering Design to Bio-Inspired Structures

Subject:
Engineering
Mathematics
Chemistry
Physics
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Date Added:
03/17/2011
Afterimage
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In this activity about light and perception, learners discover how a flash of light can create a lingering image called an "afterimage" on the retina of the eye. Learners will be surprised when they continue to see an image of a bright object after staring at it and looking away. Use this activity to introduce learners to principles of optics and perception as well as to explain why the full moon often appears larger when it is on the horizon than when it is overhead. This lesson guide also includes a few extensions like how to take "afterimage photographs."

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Exploratorium
Provider Set:
Science Snacks
Date Added:
09/04/2019
All About Earth's Climate
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In this informational text, elementary school readers learn about the difference between weather and climate and about components of the climate system. The text can be used to practice visualizing and other comprehension strategies. Available in K-2 and 3-5 grade bands and as an illustrated book as well as a text document, the story appears in the online magazine Beyond Weather and the Water Cycle.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Education
Reading Informational Text
Chemistry
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Reading
Teaching/Learning Strategy
Provider:
Ohio State University College of Education and Human Ecology
Provider Set:
Beyond Weather and the Water Cycle
Author:
Jessica Fries-Gaither
National Science Foundation
Date Added:
08/10/2020
Alquimétricos – Ecotechnological toys – Alquimétricos
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CC BY-SA
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Alquimétricos is a collection of open source didactic toys: building blocks to mount structures and learn-while-playing about geometry, maths, architecture, mechanics, physics, chemistry, and much more. The initiative is focused on the design of DIY educational materials which are meant to be produced using a wide range of procedures, from ultra-low-cost-low-tech tool set (scissors and nails) to high-end-FabLab-standards (laser cutter, CNC milling, 3D printing), using an equally wide ranged material sort, including recycled packaging plastics, rubbers, cloths and cardboard composites throughout textile-embedded polymers, organic fibers or even lab-harvested fungus. Alquimétricos are meant to play, learn and share.

Subject:
Architecture and Design
Computer Science
Engineering
Visual Arts
Electronic Technology
Mathematics
Physics
Material Type:
Homework/Assignment
Interactive
Date Added:
10/13/2021
Anti-Gravity Mirror
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In this demonstration, amaze learners by performing simple tricks using mirrors. These tricks take advantage of how a mirror can reflect your right side so it appears to be your left side. To make the effect more dramatic, cover the mirror with a cloth, climb onto the table, straddle the mirror, and then drop the cloth as you appear to "take off." This resource contains information about how this trick was applied during the making of the movie "Star Wars."

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Exploratorium
Provider Set:
Science Snacks
Author:
California Department of Education
National Science Foundation
NEC Foundation of America
The Exploratorium
Date Added:
09/04/2019
Anti-Sound Spring
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In this simple exploration, a coiled phone cord slows the motion of a wave so you can see how a single pulse travels and what happens when two traveling wave pulses meet in the middle.

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Exploratorium
Provider Set:
Science Snacks
Date Added:
09/04/2019
Antimatter Matters
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Antimatter, the charge reversed equivalent of matter, has captured the imaginations of science fiction fans for years as a perfectly efficient form of energy. While normal matter consists of atoms with negatively charged electrons orbiting positively charged nuclei, antimatter consists of positively charged positrons orbiting negatively charged anti-nuclei. When antimatter and matter meet, both substances are annihilated, creating massive amounts of energy. Instances in which antimatter is portrayed in science fiction stories (such as Star Trek) are examined, including their purposes (fuel source, weapons, alternate universes) and properties. Students compare and contrast matter and antimatter, learn how antimatter can be used as a form of energy, and consider potential engineering applications for antimatter.

Subject:
Engineering
Physics
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Christine Hawthorne
Rachel Howser
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Applied Geometric Algebra, Spring 2009
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Laszlo Tisza was Professor of Physics Emeritus at MIT, where he began teaching in 1941. This online publication is a reproduction the original lecture notes for the course "Applied Geometric Algebra" taught by Professor Tisza in the Spring of 1976. Over the last 100 years, the mathematical tools employed by physicists have expanded considerably, from differential calculus, vector algebra and geometry, to advanced linear algebra, tensors, Hilbert space, spinors, Group theory and many others. These sophisticated tools provide powerful machinery for describing the physical world, however, their physical interpretation is often not intuitive. These course notes represent Prof. Tisza's attempt at bringing conceptual clarity and unity to the application and interpretation of these advanced mathematical tools. In particular, there is an emphasis on the unifying role that Group theory plays in classical, relativistic, and quantum physics. Prof. Tisza revisits many elementary problems with an advanced treatment in order to help develop the geometrical intuition for the algebraic machinery that may carry over to more advanced problems. The lecture notes came to MIT OpenCourseWare by way of Samuel Gasster, '77 (Course 18), who had taken the course and kept a copy of the lecture notes for his own reference. He dedicated dozens of hours of his own time to convert the typewritten notes into LaTeX files and then publication-ready PDFs. You can read about his motivation for wanting to see these notes published in his Preface below. Professor Tisza kindly gave his permission to make these notes available on MIT OpenCourseWare.

Subject:
Algebra
Physics
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Author:
Tisza, L
Date Added:
01/01/2009
Applied Nuclear Physics, Fall 2006
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Fundamentals of nuclear physics for engineering students. Basic properties of the nucleus and nuclear radiations. Elementary quantum mechanical calculations of bound-state energies and barrier transmission probability. Binding energy and nuclear stability. Interactions of charged particles, neutrons, and gamma rays with matter. Radioactive decays. Energetics and general cross-section behavior in nuclear reactions.

Subject:
Engineering
Physics
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Author:
Yip, Sidney
Date Added:
01/01/2006
Archimedes' Principle, Pascal's Law and Bernoulli's Principle
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Students are introduced to Pascal's law, Archimedes' principle and Bernoulli's principle. Fundamental definitions, equations, practice problems and engineering applications are supplied. A PowerPoint® presentation, practice problems and grading rubric are provided.

Subject:
Engineering
Mathematics
Physics
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Emily Sappington
Mila Taylor
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Architects and Engineers
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Students explore the interface between architecture and engineering. In the associated hands-on activity, students act as both architects and engineers by designing and building a small parking garage.

Subject:
Architecture and Design
Engineering
Education
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Abigail Watrous
Denali Lander
Janet Yowell
Katherine Beggs
Melissa Straten
Sara Stemler
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Art in Engineering - Moving Art
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Students learn how forces are used in the creation of art. They come to understand that it is not just bridge and airplane designers who are concerned about how forces interact with objects, but artists as well. As "paper engineers," students create their own mobiles and pop-up books, and identify and use the forces (air currents, gravity, hand movement) acting upon them.

Subject:
Engineering
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Denise Carlson
Denise W. Carlson
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Natalie Mach
Date Added:
09/18/2014
The Art of Approximation in Science and Engineering: How to Whip Out Answers Quickly
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The purpose of this learning video is to show students how to think more freely about math and science problems. Sometimes getting an approximate answer in a much shorter period of time is well worth the time saved. This video explores techniques for making quick, back-of-the-envelope approximations that are not only surprisingly accurate, but are also illuminating for building intuition in understanding science. This video touches upon 10th-grade level Algebra I and first-year high school physics, but the concepts covered (velocity, distance, mass, etc) are basic enough that science-oriented younger students would understand. If desired, teachers may bring in pendula of various lengths, weights to hang, and a stopwatch to measure period. Examples of in- class exercises for between the video segments include: asking students to estimate 29 x 31 without a calculator or paper and pencil; and asking students how close they can get to a black hole without getting sucked in.

Subject:
Engineering
Algebra
Numbers and Operations
Physics
Material Type:
Lecture
Provider:
MIT Learning International Networks Consortium
Provider Set:
M.I.T. Blossoms
Author:
Stephen M. Hou
Date Added:
02/15/2018
Asthma & Physical Activity in the School
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Newly revised in 2012! This easy-to-read booklet is perfect for teachers, coaches, and families who want to help students with asthma take part in sports and physical activities. Discusses how to help students control their asthma and follow an asthma action plan. Also explains how to manage asthma triggers, ensure students have access to their asthma medicines, recognize worsening asthma symptoms and take action, and modify activities based on a childs asthma status. Includes sample asthma action plans and information about using a peak flow meter, metered-dose inhaler, and dry powder inhaler.

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Reading
Teaching/Learning Strategy
Provider:
National Institutes of Health
Date Added:
07/09/2020
Astrophysics II, Fall 2004
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Galactic dynamics: potential theory, orbits, collisionless Boltzmann equation, etc. Galaxy interactions. Groups and clusters; dark matter. Intergalactic medium; x-ray clusters. Active galactic nuclei: unified models, black hole accretion, radio and optical jets, etc. Homogeneity and isotropy, redshift, galaxy distance ladder. Newtonian cosmology. Roberston-Walker models and cosmography. Early universe, primordial nucleosynthesis, recombination. Cosmic microwave background radiation. Large-scale structure, galaxy formation.

Subject:
Astronomy
Physics
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Author:
Schechter, Paul
Date Added:
01/01/2004
Astrophysics I, Spring 2006
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CC BY-NC-SA
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Size and time scales. Historical astronomy. Astronomical instrumentation. Stars: spectra and classification. Stellar structure equations and survey of stellar evolution. Stellar oscillations. Degenerate and collapsed stars; radio pulsars. Interacting binary systems; accretion disks, x-ray sources. Gravitational lenses; dark matter. Interstellar medium: HII regions, supernova remnants, molecular clouds, dust; radiative transfer; Jeans' mass; star formation. High-energy astrophysics: Compton scattering, bremsstrahlung, synchrotron radiation, cosmic rays. Galactic stellar distributions and populations; Oort constants; Oort limit; and globular clusters.

Subject:
Astronomy
Physics
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Author:
Chakrabarty, Deepto
Date Added:
01/01/2006
Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry, Spring 2006
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CC BY-NC-SA
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This course provides an introduction to the physics and chemistry of the atmosphere, including experience with computer codes. It is intended for undergraduates and first year graduate students.

Subject:
Chemistry
Physics
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Author:
Mcrae, Gregory
Date Added:
01/01/2006
Atmospheric Radiation, Fall 2008
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Introduction to the physics of atmospheric radiation and remote sensing including use of computer codes. Radiative transfer equation including emission and scattering, spectroscopy, Mie theory, and numerical solutions. Solution of inverse problems in remote sensing of atmospheric temperature and composition.

Subject:
Atmospheric Science
Physics
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Author:
McClatchey, Robert
Seager, Sara
Date Added:
01/01/2008
Atomic and Optical Physics II, Spring 2013
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This is the second of a two-semester subject sequence beginning with Atomic and Optical Physics I (8.421) that provides the foundations for contemporary research in selected areas of atomic and optical physics. Topics covered include non-classical states of light–squeezed states; multi-photon processes, Raman scattering; coherence–level crossings, quantum beats, double resonance, superradiance; trapping and cooling-light forces, laser cooling, atom optics, spectroscopy of trapped atoms and ions; atomic interactions–classical collisions, quantum scattering theory, ultracold collisions; and experimental methods.

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Author:
Ketterle, Wolfgang
Date Added:
01/01/2013
Attack of the Raging River
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In this lesson, the students will discover the relationship between an object's mass and the amount of space it takes up (its volume). The students will also learn about the concepts of displacement and density.

Subject:
Engineering
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Attraction and Repulsion: The Magic of Magnets, Fall 2005
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This Freshman Advising Seminar surveys the many applications of magnets and magnetism. To the Chinese and Greeks of ancient times, the attractive and repulsive forces between magnets must have seemed magical indeed. Through the ages, miraculous curative powers have been attributed to magnets, and magnets have been used by illusionists to produce "magical" effects. Magnets guided ships in the Age of Exploration and generated the electrical industry in the 19th century. Today they store information and entertainment on disks and tapes, and produce sound in speakers, images on TV screens, rotation in motors, and levitation in high-speed trains. Students visit various MIT projects related to magnets (including superconducting electromagnets) and read about and discuss the history, legends, pseudoscience, science, and technology of types of magnets, including applications in medicine. Several short written reports and at least one oral presentation will be required of each participant.

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Author:
Livingston, James
Date Added:
01/01/2005
Audio Engineers: Sound Weavers
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In this lesson, students are introduced to audio engineers. They discover in what type of an environment audio engineers work and exactly what they do on a day-to-day basis. Students come to realize that audio engineers help produce their favorite music and movies.

Subject:
Engineering
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Janet Yowell
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Michael Bendewald
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Avalanche
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What starts out as a cascade of well-mixed granular materials sorts itself into alternating layers of salt and sand.

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Exploratorium
Provider Set:
Science Snacks
Date Added:
09/04/2019
Balancing Ball
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This webpage from Exploratorium provides an activity that demonstrates the Bernoulli principle with readily available materials. In this activity a table tennis ball is levitated in a stream of air from a vacuum cleaner. The site provides an explanation of what happens, asks questions about the activity, and also describes applications to flight. This activity is part of Exploratorium's Science Snacks series.

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Exploratorium
Provider Set:
Science Snacks
Date Added:
06/12/2006
Balancing Stick
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In this quick and simple activity, learners explore how the distribution of the mass of an object determines the position of its center of gravity, its angular momentum, and your ability to balance it. Learners discover it is easier to balance a wooden dowel on the tip of their fingers when a lump of clay is near the top of the stick. Use this activity to introduce learners to rotational inertia.

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Exploratorium
Provider Set:
Science Snacks
Date Added:
07/06/2006
Ballistics cart
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CC BY-SA
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The simulation shows a ballistics cart. If the cart is at rest on a horizontal surface, it will shoot a ball straight up in the air, and catch the ball again. What if, as in this simulation, the cart is traveling at a constant velocity horizontally, instead? Will the ball land ahead of the cart, in the cart, or behind the cart? Note that the cart fires the ball straight up, with respect to the cart, when the middle of the cart passes the small vertical trigger on the track.
Use the buttons to select the different modes (whether there is a tunnel or not, and whether to show the velocity vectors).

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Simulation
Provider:
Boston University
Author:
Andrew Duffy
Date Added:
08/10/2020
Balloons
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Educational Use
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Students follow the steps of the engineering design process as they design and construct balloons for aerial surveillance. After their first attempts to create balloons, they are given the associated Estimating Buoyancy lesson to learn about volume, buoyancy and density to help them iterate more successful balloon designs.Applying their newfound knowledge, the young engineers build and test balloons that fly carrying small flip cameras that capture aerial images of their school. Students use the aerial footage to draw maps and estimate areas.

Subject:
Engineering
Mathematics
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Marissa H. Forbes
Mike Soltys
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Basic Physics Second Edition (Student Edition)
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CK-12 Basic Physics - Second Edition updates CK-12 Basic Physics and is intended to be used as one small part of a multifaceted strategy to teach physics conceptually and mathematically.

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Textbook
Provider:
CK-12 Foundation
Provider Set:
CK-12 FlexBook
Author:
Dann, James
Date Added:
03/20/2010
Battery-Resistor Circuit
Unrestricted Use
CC BY
Rating

Look inside a resistor to see how it works. Increase the battery voltage to make more electrons flow though the resistor. Increase the resistance to block the flow of electrons. Watch the current and resistor temperature change.

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Simulation
Provider:
University of Colorado Boulder
Provider Set:
PhET Interactive Simulations
Author:
Carl Wieman
Sam Reid
Date Added:
11/20/2008
Battery Voltage
Unrestricted Use
CC BY
Rating

Look inside a battery to see how it works. Select the battery voltage and little stick figures move charges from one end of the battery to the other. A voltmeter tells you the resulting battery voltage.

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Simulation
Provider:
University of Colorado Boulder
Provider Set:
PhET Interactive Simulations
Author:
Carl Wieman
Sam Reid
Date Added:
11/16/2007
Beijing Urban Design Studio, Summer 2008
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In 2008, the Beijing Urban Design Studio will focus on the issue of Beijing's urban transformation under the theme of de-industrialization, by preparing an urban design and development plan for the Shougang (Capital Steel Factory) site. This studio will address whether portions of the old massive factory infrastructure can be preserved as a national industrial heritage site embedded into future new development; how to balance the cultural and recreational value of the site with environmental challenges; as well as how to use the site for urban development. A special focus of the studio will be to consider development approaches that minimize energy utilization. To research these questions, students will be asked to interact with clients from the factory, local residents, city officials and experts on transportation, environment, energy and real estate. They will assess strategic options for the steel factory and propose comprehensive plans for the design and development of the brownfield site.

Subject:
Atmospheric Science
Physics
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Author:
Frenchman, Dennis
Wampler, Jan
Date Added:
01/01/2008
Bending Light
Unrestricted Use
CC BY
Rating

Explore bending of light between two media with different indices of refraction. See how changing from air to water to glass changes the bending angle. Play with prisms of different shapes and make rainbows.

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Simulation
Provider:
University of Colorado Boulder
Provider Set:
PhET Interactive Simulations
Author:
Emily Moore
Kathy Perkins
Noah Podolefsky
Sam Reid
Trish Loeblein
University of Colorado at Boulder
Date Added:
05/09/2011
Benham's Disk
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In this optics activity, learners discover that when they rotate a special black and white pattern called a Benham's Disk, it produces the illusion of colored rings. Learners experiment with the speed of rotation and direction of rotation to observe varying patterns. Use this activity to explain to learners how our eyes detect color and how different color receptors in the eye respond at different rates.

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Exploratorium
Provider Set:
Science Snacks
Author:
California Department of Education
Don Rathjen
National Science Foundation
NEC Foundation of America
The Exploratorium
Date Added:
09/04/2019