Day 131: Gettin’ On Like a Coupla Neutrons

Tuesday, May 1

It’s the First of May! If you’re somewhere that you won’t get in trouble for swears, I’d suggest looking up Jonathan Coulton’s song “First of May”. It’s a good one.

Physics: The students were supposed to do a small homework assignment last night, so we went over those questions to clarify some ideas of photon energy and link it back to the emission spectra we talked about earlier this year. I also took out the cathode ray tube and waved the strong magnet around near it to show them the deflections and explain how measurements of things like that were how scientists determined the mass of electrons. There were a lot of “Whoa!” exclamations when the green beam moved. It made me super happy. Then we moved on to talking about nuclear stability and discussed the job of protons, electrons, and neutrons. I’d posted a question on one of my physics facebook groups about why too many neutrons made an atom unstable so I was actually able to answer that instead of saying “It just does, OKAY?” I hate that answer. I had no idea neutrons repelled each other. Weird.

Honors Physics: Last day for in-class work on the Electromagnetism unit capstone. There’s a whole lot of motors and generators being built in my class right now. I super dig it.

Hans generator.jpg

He managed to get it up to 0.6 mV, which he couldn’t believe was a reasonable value for a home-made generator out of fidget spinners and cardboard. I’m impressed, anyway.

AP Physics: Mechanics FR practice. One of my best students has managed to slice the dickens out of his right hand, so he will be taking the exam mentally rather than physically because not being able to write sure does put a damper on taking FRQs.

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