Archive for the ‘Scientific Processes’ category

Fly me to the Moon!

June 24, 2012

Welcome to Year 10 Astronomy, Students, Parents and Colleagues!

This semester we will be doing many things – we have almost twenty weeks, so there is a lot of time to get into the fun stuff! We will be starting with:

ROCKETS!

Rockets are amazing – they are Humanity’s ticket off earth, and eventually may be a crucial part of the future history and development of Homo Sapiens. We are starting our study of rockets with some very simple investigations into balloon rockets. Balloon rockets (actually all rockets!) work by pushing gases out the back of the rocket – which due to Newton’s Third Law means that the rocket is pushed forwards!

Think about it – if you put your hands on a wall, and push hard on the wall, you move away from the wall. It’s not because the wall is attached to the ground (although that helps, because you can push harder!), it’s because the wall pushes on you just as hard as you push on it!

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Don’t make it an EPI(c) FAIL!

April 20, 2012

The extended practical investigation (EPI) is a real trial by fire – if you don’t prepare, you are going to get burned. The EPI is all about your ability to combine the physics theory you have learnt in class with the application to real world situations.

This combines your understanding with your ability to make measurements carefully and accurately, taking into account the amount of precision you are able to achieve with the tools you choose to use.

It is also a trial of your common sense – can you think through the scenario and make sensible decisions about what you can investigate, and how you will go about it in a timely manner.

There are four main parts of this project: Planning; Measuring; Analysing and Reporting. You will need to plan to do a lot of work outside of class and how to divide up the work with your partner – the in class times are not the time to be trying to decide what to do; you must be working diligently in every second you have available – you must know what you are going to do and get on with it. You do not have time to spend figuring out what you are going to do.

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The Evolution Revolution

February 15, 2012

Science is exciting – almost everything about our modern life is based on humanity’s understanding of the world – what we call Science. Science is all about understanding and being able to control our world.

So why should you care? You just want to stuff around with your iPhone, chat on facebook, listen to great music and play sports. What’s that got to do with Science? Well, nothing. Not if you just want to sit there and blob, be passive and not involved, that’s your choice.

BUT…

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Dealing with the Crunchy Stuff (Updated)

February 10, 2012

Physics is all about the *crunch*. Theory is fun, and dreaming up the “Why is it so” is great, but right at the bottom, it is all about real world data and using it to find out laws about the way the worlds works.

You may remember the movie “The Matrix” – the scene were Neo finally sees the world as a computer code – all the agents as human shaped green code. This is a great metaphor; the world can be measured and that data can be used to imagine the world.

As prospective physicists (should you manage to endure the pain of VCE physics, and complete your further studies), you must learn how to make your data dance – how to make your experiments reveal the meaning behind the measurements you make. We have looked at two powerpoints, one about graphical analysis, and one about error management and uncertainty calculations – these two presentations are embedded below. Take the time to go over them, and make sure you not only understand them, but can do it yourself.

This post will be updated over the weekend, but I wanted to make sure you had some materials to start. I also want you to post a comment on this as soon as you download the material, just so I know you can access it (that is *all* CMC students!)

Presentation 1:
VCE Physics: Analysis of experiments
Presentation 2:
And here is a link to the first work requirement for all students (I know that there is a link to the answers at the bottom, so you’d better be able to explain your working!)
As we have mentioned in class, you will have an advantage if you can use Excel to process and present data. Excel is a common program, but it is difficult to use for scientific purposes. You should visit the Quantum Boffin site, which has a set of three videos which will help you develop the necessary skills. (Find them on the left column of the page).
Update:
Year 11: HPSC Complete Radiation Notes 2012 are the initial notes you need to print off as soon as possible.
Year 12: Motion in One & Two Dimensions2: Here are the first part of the notes; please make sure you have a copy for our next class.
See you in class!