Archive for April 2013

Join the Resistance!

April 26, 2013

It’s time to get into the hard stuff – It’s time to join the resistance! Don’t let the current events know watt you are thinking – charge it up and…

Ah damn – I can’t come up with a pun for voltage. I’m sure one of you can – If I groan or laugh I will swear off bad puns in class for a week. That should be enough of an incentive for all of you!

Well, this post is mainly a link to a prior post, and an updated list of videos. I will add a link to some class notes shortly, but here are the two main links you need:

1: Post on Circuit Analysis. 2: Updated list of youtube videos.

See you all in class!

And you thought Quadratics were bad…

April 21, 2013

allergic to algebraSo, we’ve gone through two and a bit chapters of Mathematical methods so far, and you are beginning to think that you’ve done the worst of it – it can’t get that much harder, can it? Really?

Well, welcome to cubics, quartics and higher order polynomials – they are the big brothers and sisters to the humble quadratic, and they’d like to have a word with you about beating up on their sibling, the poor little quadratic – something about “completing your square”

On a more serious note, if you are feeling alright about algebra so far, the next section isn’t any harder – just a few more ideas – nothing new or harder than we’ve done so far, just more. Just like when we started quadratics, the first thing we do with cubics and quartics  is to identify the common pattern, and be able to factorise them directly from recognising that pattern.

Once we can do that, we will look at how you can start to graph these functions from their intercepts – but that means we need a way of finding all the intercepts. We already knew from our studies of the Null Factor Law (NFL) that the factors of a quadratic equation can give the intercept. The Remainder theorem (right now, that irritating chorus should be going through your head) allows us to find the factors by finding values for a where f(a) = 0 for a given f(x). Combining all this knowledge gives us the ability to sketch almost any graph!

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Gravity Sucks!

April 5, 2013

gravity sucksThere is an unbearable pun about gravity. The fact that it is both a pun, and unbearable explains both why I know it, and why I would choose to inflict it on you. Of course, I won’t just say it, but imply that it exists – relying on the fact that right now, every bad pun about gravity is rolling through your head, and if not your fingers are twitching to Google whatever it is I am talking about – thus my purpose is achieved with minimal effort!

Regardless, the orbital movement is the final context of motion in two dimensions, our first area of study. It is clearly an outgrowth of circular motion, but it has some interesting twists of its own. For a start, the force that maintains the circular trajectory is the force of gravity – the first of the four forces of the standard model of physics. Gravity has some difference from other forces that you have thus far encountered. As an example, both Weight force (F = mg) and Elastic force (F = -kx) only involve the object that the force is affecting. Newton’s universal law of gravitation has some similarities to the weight force, but a great many more differences.

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Avoid making ERRORS in your ERAs.

April 3, 2013

Psychology-is-fun-psychology-22111146-500-372To get the right answer, you must know how to ask the right question(s) – and psychology is all about questions  – how to ask them, what to ask, and most importantly of all, why to ask them.

Psychology will teach you about how to think – and how to understand something about the way others think. The starting point for our studies in psychology is how to approach the study of people – their behaviours &  and how the mind is related to them – in a scientific fashion. To do this, we are working toward defining and working with variables, and forming and testing hypotheses.

This process is recorded in an report called an “Empirical Research Activity” (and “ERA”), and you have to write one – just in case you weren’t paying attention for the last 10 weeks!

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