Day 61: Interference Interferes

Wednesday, Dec 13

Physics: I still had not finished grading the exams, because I just couldn’t pull it together enough to make it happen until late afternoon while sitting in a doctor’s office waiting room (nothing is wrong. Just building rapport with new docs since all our medical stuff has changed with the move). We finished up talking about solids (tension/compression/spring potential energy) and I got to pass around my plastic I-Beam so they could feel the different stiffnesses in the different directions. They caught on pretty quickly, so we moved on to liquids for the last few minutes to talk about pressure and what happens when you put a solid thing in water.

Honors Physics: We continued learning about wave properties of diffraction and interference and how they are related. I was hoping to get to forced vibrations and resonance before break, but that’s not going to happen. I jumped too fast to standing waves and didn’t go over the basic constructive/destructive interference ideas enough, so they got SUPER confused. Quite a bit of class was back-tracking and trying to clear it all up. I get really excited about waves and resonance, so my brain skipped straight to standing waves as the topic to understand before resonance, but that was a poorly thought out sequence. Things to remember for next time!

AP Physics: Continuing electrostatics introduction, we went over electric potential energy and did some calculations with arrays of charged particles. I remember struggling with these ideas, because I still didn’t really understand forces and field when I was a junior in high school. I took Mech and E&M in parallel, and electrostatics was first in E&M, but energy didn’t come until much later in Mech. Everything I try to do to short circuit the things that confused me the students stare at me like it’s the most obvious thing in the world. I’M REALLY GLAD ABOUT THAT. I’m interpreting it to mean that they are more comfortable with forces and energy from what we learned in Mechanics and able to bring that knowledge over. I know transferring knowledge to different contexts is super challenging, so this makes me very happy.

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