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The International Year of Sound (Good Vibrations)

Summary

Keeta Jones from the Acoustical Society of America joins us to talk about the International Year of sound.

Content

Keeta tells us about the way that the ASA are supporting the Year of Sound with a resource pack for teachers and a competition for kids. She also describes the myriad of places that acousticians are found in the workplace.

Thomas and Robin follow up by discussing the Tacoma Narrows Bridge and a recent experiment to explore the sound of the windpipe in an ancient mummy.

Links

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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.

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Ways To Teach… Momentum

Summary

Dr Dave Farmer joins the podcast to talk about ways to teach Momentum. Thank you for all your input dear listener!

giphy.com

Content

Dr Dave introduces momentum by putting his body on the line (see below). The main themes are increasing collision time to reduce force, momentum as the quantity of motion, colliding students together and doing experiments.

Links

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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.

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Density Required Practical, Accuracy and Precision (Two Dense Objects)

Photograph: Jane Ni (see below for link)

Summary

Thomas and Robin chat about another required practical in UK GCSEs, measuring the density of regular and irregular objects. They run down the rabbit hole of accuracy vs precision before chatting about crazy ways of measuring everyday values.

Photograph: NSO/AURA/NSF

Physics in the news this week is the recent close up photograph of the surface of the Sun, or “golden nuggets” as Thomas called it. Each pixel is 30km, meaning that if this were the whole sun the photo would be metres across.

The next topic is the everyday required practical in the UK of measuring density. What are the pitfalls? Who doesn’t love a Eureka can? It turns out that Robin is not a fan, and Thomas finds them a tricky proposition too.

A quick foray in to Accuracy vs Precision where Thomas reminisces about WWI (he’s not that old) and tells a story from his past to illustrate the difference.

The final part of the podcast has Thomas telling Robin about how he measured the diameter of ball bearings by dropping them in glycerol as an analogue for the Millikan experiment.

Links

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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.

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Meeting the AAPT

Thomas and Robin meet Mark Hannum from the AAPT (American Association of Physics Teachers).

Summary

Robin is fascinated to meet Mark Hannum from AAPT. AAPT support teachers in the USA, much the same role that Robin played when he was leading Teacher Support for the IoP. Mark tells us how the AAPT works and also shares his favourite pracitcal – projectiles.

Links

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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. The music before and after James is Cantina Rag by Jackson F. Smith.

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Join in!

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.

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Categories

Mocks

Thomas and Robin chat about mocks and how they use them. The podcast ends on a sad note as Thomas talks about a recent family bereavement and asks for donations to Brain research.

Summary

For reasons that are explained late in the podcast, Thomas has been feeling very low, and travels to Robin’s house (aka Studio 13) for a chat about Mocks. When and what do we set for the exams and how do we use them?

Robin hurts Thomas’ brain with some entanglement Physics in the News. Thomas then explains his choice of papers for A-Level mocks (the previous Year’s AS paper) and the two teachers discuss using practical work in revision.

Links

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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.

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Waves for 11 Year Olds and GCSE Required Practical

Robin and Thomas busk through teaching Sound and Waves to 11-year-olds and the Ripple Tank GCSE Required Practical.

Summary

“Physics in the News” this week looked at a story that casts doubt on the idea of dark energy. It’s a good illustration of how the scientific method and peer review is used to challenge ideas and present evidence.

Thomas and Robin chat about teaching KS3 waves and how we would introduce concepts. Robin likes Thomas’s approach of using sound vibrations to introduce wave concepts. Both love slinky springs and oscilloscopes – and don’t forget there’s a whole podcast on “Ways to Teach… waves” here. See the Summary for links to the Virtual Oscilloscope and Virtual Ripple Tank.

The core practical we discuss is measuring wave speed using a ripple tank and Thomas and Robin give the following recommendations…

  • get to know your ripple tank. Time spent getting to know your individual tank’s idiosyncrasies will not be wasted. Pick your technician’s brains!
  • Go slow. Try and get the ripples as slow as you can.
  • Look to the heavens. Try and illuminate the tank from underneath to project the ripples on the ceiling if possible.
  • Use the simulation ripple tank / wave simulation (see summary) to give students the chance to develop some familiarity (albeit simulated) with waves and ripples.

Good luck rippling!

We’re also doing a “Ways to Teach… Momentum” and a “Ways to Teach… Physics GCSE Revision” episode soon so send all the tips you can think of to us using the contact form below.

Join in!

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.

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Categories

Taking a Trip to CERN

Robin and Thomas talk to David Cotton and Aris Dacanalis about taking a trip to CERN.

Timestamps

  • Aris @ 01:40
  • Chatting with David @ 08:20
  • David’s Practical in Memoriam @ 30:30

Summary

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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.

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Uses for a Vacuum Cannon and Deconstruction of Energy

Happy New Year! Thomas and Robin reflect on some questions from the Dulwich IoP Physics Conference and are joined by Patrick Kaplo to talk about uses for the Vacuum Cannon and whether teaching just two energy stores is the way forward.

Timestamps

  • New Year Resolutions @ 00:35
  • We’re going on tour! @ 03:51
  • Uses for the Vacuum Cannon @ 06:40
  • Dr Ben Still’s views on Energy @ 19:23

Summary

Happy New Year dear listener! Do you make New Year’s resolutions, then share them in the vain hope you will keep them up? Thomas asks Robin and Patrick to share theirs. Robin has been inspired by the podcast and Patrick is going to be more sharing. Thomas has set a low bar.

The exciting news of the week is that Thomas, Robin and Thomas are heading to Boston USA to run a session at the NSTA conference. Entitled “Podcasting and Professionalism – A British Twist”. We plan to run a hands-on session and not wear bowler hats… we’ll look forward to seeing you in Boston in early April. If you aren’t in America then, why not let us know your favourite physics CPD event and we’ll see if we can make it along.

Friend of the Podcast Jonathan Shaw loves his vacuum cannon but was wondering about how to use it to full-physics effect, and Patrick was more than happy to oblige. We got to five tips before we moved away from a soda-can-annihilation and in the end, we did answer Jonathan’s question.

Dr Ben Still, author of Particle Physics Brick by Brick shared an interesting insight in to Energy when talking at the Conference – that there are really only two energy stores – motion and field shape. Thomas is delighted by this and puts it to Patrick and Robin for their opinion. What do you think? Should we tell our KS3 students that there is only movement and field?

Join in!

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.

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Specific Heat Capacity (GCSE Required Practical)

Happy Christmas! In the last full podcast of 2019, Thomas and Robin chat about one of the core GCSE Practicals: Measuring Specific Heat Capacity. Also, stealth physics in “fun” Christmas lessons.

Timestamps

  • Bikes follow up @ 00:54
  • Stealth Physics “fun” lessons @ 02:10
  • Chatting about measuring Specific Heat Capacity @ 15:50

Summary

Thomas doesn’t like “fun” lessons, and is a bit of a Scrooge, but Robin has a great one on Christmas lights that is much deeper than you think.

A few days ago we talked through doing the Specific Heat Capacity experiment and we talk about the cognitive load, issues and tips around doing this popular and classic practical. Although his drawing skills are as unconvincing as his podcasting skills, Robin shares these diagrams to use (or preferably ‘do better’) as the basis of some low cog-load instructions. Merry Christmas!

Equipment list

Step 1 – put oil in the openings in the metal block
Step 2 – insert heater and thermometer as show
Step 3 – connect the heater to an ammeter and a power supply, then connect a voltmeter in parallel across the heater.

Step 4 – read the current and voltage, then take an initial temperature reading and record as your t = 0 seconds reading. Start the stopwatch.
Step 5 – record the temperature every 30 seconds until the temperature hits 50 celsius.

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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.

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Categories

Bikes – An Accessible and Versatile Context

James de Winter and Alan Denton join us to tell us the many ways in which a simple bicycle can be used to provide an accessible context for Physics. Moment, pressure, forces, sound, power and more can all be looked at through the lens of a bike.

Timestamps

  • A Fifth Fundamental Force? @ 00:47
  • Bikes for teaching physics @
    • Why use a bike? @ 05:56
    • How to draw a bike @ 06:43
    • Free Body Diagrams @
    • Forces on a bike @ 08:11
    • Free Body Diagrams @ 8:40
    • Mechanical Advantage @ 14:00
    • Pressure @ 17:18
    • Sound@ 23:10
    • All the other things you can do @ 25:00
  • Post interview chat @ 31:00
How to sketch a bike

Summary

First Thomas and Robin chew over the suggestion that there may be a fifth fundamental force of nature, or it may just be uncertainty. This leads on to the similarities with “faster than light neutrinos“. It’s a story that illustrates ‘how science works’ so a nice one to share with top sets or A-level students.

Alan and James find delight in the bike as a tool for teaching physics. Levers, pressure, friction, sound and much more can be taught using the good old bicycle! We’ve been chatting a lot about context recently and surely a bike has more resonance with kids than, say a Saturn V rocket or a car engine?

If you’re interested in the beautiful book James mentions, you can find it here: Cycling Science by Max Glaskin. If you do all your marking, Santa might put you on the ‘nice’ list and slip one in your stocking.

I’ll bet you can think of even more ways to use a bike to get ideas across (bike chain as a model of moving charge in a circuit?), so give your technician a real challenge and see if they can find storage space in their prep room for a bike.

Join in!

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.

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