Mary, Mass and Melting

Our first T-shirt winner, Mary Wild, joins us to chat about helping Charlie with mass, weight and gravity and also to share a practical she loves: Specific Latent Heat of fusion for Ice.

S02E06 Timestamps

  • Introducing our guest Mary Wild (@MaryWild) @ 01:10
  • Physics in the News – Static Spiders @ 02:15
  • Charlie’s audio diary @ 05:06
  • Mass and Weight @ 07:00
  • Forces at a Distance @ 12:30
  • Weightlessness @ 16:40
  • Mary’s Practical In Memoriam (PIM) Specific Latent Heat (Fusion) of Ice @ 21:09


We are joined by Mary Wild, a teacher in West Sussex. She kicks of with a Physics in the News that she fears might not be recent: Spiders use electrostatics to float! We then hear from Charlie the non-specialist who poses some tricky questions about forces: mass ad weight and non-contact forces.

Mary likes to show the Hammer and Feather dropped on the Moon (Brian Cox updates it in this video) and Adam Hart-Davis dropping tomatoes (Thomas can’t find that video). Stephen Hawking on the Vomit Comet. @DanWestPhD found Robin’s favourite video on gravity courtesy of the excellent channel Veritasium.

We close with Mary’s favourite demo/practical. Determining the specific latent heat of fusion for Ice -> Water by melting ice in a funnel using an immersion heater. Don’t forget to run it without the heater and subtract the volume of water melted by the room!

Ways to teach… Ionising Radiation

Please share your ideas about teaching Ionising Radiation. Tweet us @physicstp with the hash tag #tptpir , use the contact form below, our Instagram account @physics_teaching_podcast or email us contact at thephysicsteacohingpodcast dot com! After tweeting about this we already have seen a brilliant video about dealing with radiation issues in Russia (Thank you David Cotton @Newmanphysics).

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