S02E06 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).

Join in!

Don’t forget to tell us how it goes and share your tips.  And if you happen to be at SPEED on 5th October, say hello and you will hopefully make it onto the podcast! Details on how to get in touch are below. Thanks for listening.

Please share ideas or successes – or indeed questions – on our Facebook Page: https://fb.me/physicstp .  You can also message us via our website contact form at the.physicsteachingpodcast.com, Twitter @physicstp, email using  the address given in the podcast (if we remember) or by leaving a voice memo using WhatsApp or Telegram to the phone number in our Twitter profile, +44 7898 814716 (don’t call the number, nobody will answer, just hold down the microphone icon and speak your message or upload an mp3 or ogg). Don’t forget to tell us your name because we may use your audio in a future episode.

The music we use remains One legged equilibrist polka by Circus Homunculus.

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