We are often discussing “ideal” or “ACME” [think of Wile E Coyote and Road Runner] equipment in class and you may be wondering where one gets such specialized equipment. Well here is a link to THE source – beware – some of it is rather pricey.
Dr. Brown does a fantastic job of discussing [in depth] all sorts of relevant phenomena and “cool” physics related to our topic of study. I am always astounded at the breadth and depth of his “rabbit trail” discussions. He also encourages students to do some extra project of interest during the course. Here is one idea I found this morning which relates to electric winds.
Our first lab on electrostatics gets us to consider charging by friction, conduction, and induction, conductors and insulators, and work of moving a charged plate through an electric field. We learned that sparks from discharge occur when the air ionizes to create a conducting path like mini-lightning. Here is a picture of a lab group getting ready to rub a foam square of insulation with rabbit fur to charge it.
We also played with our Van de Graaff and off course included some hair raising!
Archimedes was such an amazing scientist, perhaps the greatest of antiquity, it is always delightful to recall the Eureka tale and consider the application of Archimedes’ Principle to the plethora of boats which populate the waters around DUML.
Students tend to enjoy this lab and are frequently heard exclaiming Eureka!
The second official lab allows students to figure out a procedure for determining the work done by friction for a typical introductory mechanics situation; namely, carts with an attached “friction pad” accelerated up an inclined plane. Anytime we can get out of the book and work out the concepts in the real world, issues can arise 😉
Of course, most groups just enjoy the hands on exploring —