25. Fusion, Triangular Teaching and Avoiding Dead Leaves

Thomas, Robin and Patrick Kaplo discuss the re-release of the vacuum cannon, the ITER fusion project, Prof W Brian Lane tells us his PIM and James De Winter talks about avoiding “Plugging and Chugging”.

Timestamps

  • Welcome back Patrick Kaplo @ 00:37
  • The Vacuum Cannon is back @ 01:10
  • Physics in the news: ITER and fusion @ 02:07
  • Prof. W Brian Lane and his Spring Lab @ 04:23
  • Differences between US and UK systems @ 13:21
  • James De Winter and Maths in Physics @ 20:24
  • Please give us some Waves teaching tips @ 27:31

Summary

Patrick Kaplo joins the team once more. Thomas announces that the Vacuum Cannon can once more be ordered in the shop (for delivery in early June). Physics In The News leads to a chat about Fusion at ITER and how it is always 25 years away. Thomas introduces Prof. W Brian Lane who first appeared in Episode 20 (Ways to teach… Displacement, Velocity and Acceleration). Discussing it, Thomas and Patrick get a bit sidetracked talking about our different systems before Robin steers them back to the idea of teaching with a triple whammy of Theory, Simulation and Practical. Thomas then plays a short section of a chat Robin had with James De Winter about the place of Maths in Physics and avoiding “Plugging and Chugging”.

Patrick Kaplo modelling the t-shirt
Patrick Kaplo rocks the retro tptp look.

Ways to teach… Waves

Episode 27 (assuming we make it) will be all about ways to teach Waves. How do you do it and what works best for you?

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). Don’t forget to tell us your name because we may use your audio in a future episode. Please do leave a voice memo: Thomas thinks nobody loves him.

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

Patrick’s theme tune is from Hail to the Chief Bluegrass Banjo by Tom Adams from BanjoNews.com under Fair Use.

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22. Technicians and Teacher Talk

In 1927, the Solvay conference brought together the likes of Einstein, Curie, Schrodinger, de Broglie, Dirac, Bohr and on and on. That was the highest density of physicists until a couple of weeks ago when Robin caught up with Chris, David, Steve and Ben at Uppingham school.

In the same way that drunk guys start to talk about their mums, teachers will start talking about technicians and how wonderful they are. We point out how essential, precious and endangered they are. We encourage teachers to make sure their technicians are given professional recognition. Make sure they are fully included and feel that they are equal members of the science team. Technicians need professional development and should be included in professional dialog. Check out http://www.preproom.org and techognition for more (since publishing this episode have had even more suggestions and there is now a dedicated page for technician focused sites).

Timestamps

  • Lewis Matheson from alevelphysicsonline.com and vacuum cannons sold out @ 01:14
  • Americans going back to the Moon @ 03:06
  • Space Suits @ 03:37
  • Physics teachers and technicians @ 05:59
  • Practical in Memoriam @ 21:40
  • Closing the episode @ 35:23

Summary

Robin had a round table discussion with four other teachers at Uppingham School. Dr David Boyce, Ben Dickens, Steve Allen and Chris Shepherd.

Of course with so many of us, we had to discuss our practicals in memoriam. The Whoosh Bottle is a lot of fun. We found a video of the tin foil speaker but it does not show the setup: Thomas had reasonable success with a signal generator on low impedance, but the volume was pretty quiet before the sig gen borked. Pushing a current through glass does work, and the video Robin found is certainly not a CLEAPPS approved method.

Thanks to the wonderful gang for a great natter. Apologies though to Steve: the censors cut our discussion of how to maintain dignity while talking about those areas of physics that have… a double-meaning (Uranus or Kundt’s Tube anyone?). We may air it at the end of the year when we will be off on our hols to allow the furore to pass.

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). 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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