## Archive for the ‘Year 12’ category

### Physics is *powerful* stuff

July 31, 2013

An’ Yur OUTTA here!

That’s Area of Study One, Unit Four, Down! Now it’s up to you to make sure it stays down for the count, and that you’ve knocked it out conclusively – time for some preparation, a bit of (mental) exercise before final round, the Assessment task.

Some mood music, Maestro, Please: Link

OK, back to the serious stuff. Each of you are working on a common resource to share for the summary of this area of study, but you must also be preparing your own summary sheet (one page, one side) to be used for this task, and then revised for the next and saved for the final examination. Those resources are to be ready for distribution via the Melba Physics page on Friday, so everyone has a chance to use them over the weekend.

The first assessment task is a straight forward test – we have a data analysis task to follow. You know the nature of the questions we discussed in class, but here is a link to the cover pages and formula sheet for the task. There are also links to files that we used in class here (1, 2). Make the most of them – they will help you prepare if you make sure that what you are doing is focused so that you ace this task.

### Motorin’ on!

July 10, 2013

To my year 12 physics class: Get to it!

More to come…

### Ohm-o-Sapiens (evolved again!)

May 4, 2013

The human species is continuously evolving – from the early hominids such as Homo Robustus, through the Neanderthals, and eventually Homo Sapiens. Physics students (Genus: Ohm-o-Sapiens) are clearly a new advancement in the Human species, as shown by the ability to tolerate torment provided by Physics Teachers…

OK, enough jokes – what we are doing with this post is going beyond the prior posts on electric circuit theory, and into component analysis. We have already looked at Ohm’s Law, Kirchoff’s Laws, and Thevenin’s Law – these are all based on the simple concept of simple “ohmic components”. Such circuits are relatively simple to solve (except like ones to left, and this one) – you use the rules of parallel and serial circuit elements to simplify the problem, and solve using Ohm’s Law.

Some components are not that easy – they don’t follow the simple patterns of ohm’s law. These devices do not have a constant resistance for a variety of applied voltages – their characteristic Voltage – Current graphs show a curve, and this is something you must be able to describe, analyse and discuss.

### 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:

See you all in class!

### Gravity Sucks!

April 5, 2013

There 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.

### Twistin’ and Turnin’ – Circular motion will set your brain a-burnin!

February 16, 2013

So. You’re back – you survived one year of physics, and you decided to come back for another. If you’re smart, you’re a bit scared! If you’re smarter, you’re already working your backside off and planning how you can work harder. This year we are starting with a review of 1-D kinematics from last year, and quickly moving into 2-D applications of the same ideas. The first one we are spending time on is circular motion – that is objects moving in a circle in either the vertical or horizontal plane.

Circular motion is hard to get your head around in the beginning, because your own experience is lying to you. Everyone has ridden in a car as it goes around a corner in the road or a roundabout – and you have felt the force “pushing you towards the outside of the curve”, so when you think about these forces, you have an immediate expectation that the force is acting outwards – from the centre of the circle out…

But you would be wrong!

### Happy New Year and Roll Call! (URGENT!)

January 17, 2013

URGENT! All students reading this need to get started! Please ensure that you have commented as required before the first day of school!

Welcome to 2013, students of Melba Secondary College! I hope you have had a wonderful and restful holiday, because it is that time again – time to start school!

It’s a new year, and a new school for all of us. Some of you are already familiar with the senior campus; some of you are new – but all of us have a lot to get done this year.

Perhaps you are studying Physics or Mathematical Methods or Psychology with me (or even more than one; if so, you obviously have some bad karma to work off…), but regardless of subject, we have to get started.

This is the first blog post of the year – there will be many more, and this blog is a critical part of your learning experience this year. Anything you find on this blog is assessable, and your participation on this blog throughout the year is part of how I assess you.