Day 88: Discharging Capacitors

Wednesday, Feb 7

Physics: Presentations! Kids talked about the first half of the color chapter. We did some cool demos, but it reminded me that I still need to make a list of materials to buy, so I finally made that document and started filling it out. I added “those LED light things” to the list. There are a few other things I want, mostly based on things I did at the Exploratorium Teacher Institute and the five years of going to PTSOS workshops, but it’s time to get them out of my head and into a list.

Honors Physics: Today we finished up forces with superposition and a game where you use a “detector” to find the magnitude and direction of the electric force on a “mine”. With one mine, I was able to consistently find it in two tries, but with two mines things became MUCH harder and also more interesting. That is one of the cool things about the online textbook, for sure.

AP Physics: We practiced a few more questions about capacitance, but reached a point quickly where I needed to add in some more information, so we back-filled the topics of real batteries, dielectrics, and did the basic RC circuit derivations for Q and I. Soooooo now, finally, we have learned all the things we need to know to do the Free Response questions. It’s really neat how it all flows together.


Tomorrow is lab, so I may pull out my old electronic playground and give them some demonstrations of capacitors with light bulbs so they can see the discharging and charging happening, and then we’ll dive into some practice problems.

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