Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Free Online Scientific Calculator Available

I have included a free, online scientific calculator on the main class site (www.physicsmedic.org).

You can access it here: https://sites.google.com/site/dandradeedusite/Home/scientific-calculator

This is a great resource if you don't have your own calculator but can get to a computer.

Protocol for Solving Physics Problems

The protocol is an appraoch to problem solving for Physics. 
10 steps
1. read the problem
2. create a meanful diagram
3. determine the variables
4. assign values to variables (what you are given and what you know, and what you are looking for)
6. choose equation
7. do your algebra (to solve for the variable you are looking for)
8. substitue values into equation
9. complete the math
10 check sig figs and box or circle answer

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Work Energy Lab - LAB REPORTs

Due Dates for Work Energy Lab LAB REPORTS:

Periods 2, 3, 6
Wednesday, November 24th. If your class doesn't meet that day, you must turn the lab report in to me anyway.
You can bring it to me in the room, put it in my mailbox in the main office, or email it to me. dandrade@bridgeportedu.net

Periods 5, 7
Monday, November 29th.

Here is the link to the instructions if you lose yours.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Roller Coaster Physics Online Project

Periods 2, 3, 6, :

Roller Coaster Physics Online Project

1. Go to http://library.thinkquest.org/2745/data/ke.htm and read about the energy conversion in a roller coaster.

2. Go to http://www.learner.org/interactives/parkphysics/coaster.html and read the first page. Then click on "How did coasters come to be? Read more about their history" and read about roller coaster history. Then click on "Back to Roller Coaster" which will bring you back to the start. Click on "Design a Roller Coaster" and follow the instructions. Make sure you click on the "safety inspection" after you are done with the design. Try out more than one design also.

3. Go to http://www.funderstanding.com/coaster and use the simulation to try out different roller coaster designs. Change the height of the initial hill, loop, and second hill. Start a new track and design your own layout. Watch what happens depending on what you do with the design.

4. Go to http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/family/roller-coaster.htm and read all about Roller Coasters.

5. If you have time, go to http://www.perthnow.com.au/fun-games/rollercoaster-creator/story-fn4ej4lr-1111117325689 and try out the roller coaster game. See how well you do.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Think before you post online!

Think before you post anything on Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, a blog, or even email or text message. That information could end up being seen by anyone.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Work and Energy LAB

For the Work and Energy LAB (Discovery Lab - Exploring Work and Energy) that we are doing this week, you must write a full lab report.

Each student must write their own lab report. Do not copy from your partners. Any labs that appear copied will share the full grade (in other words, if 3 people copy from each other, the highest grade any of them can get is a 33/100).

Here are the lab report guidelines (which were also handed out during class)

Remember: Labs are performed in groups for data collection purposes only. Your lab report should NOT be the result of shared writing, copying, or cooperative effort. This includes your calculations. You must do this on your own. Remember to cite any references you use and do not copy from the lab sheets into your lab report. GRAPHS MUST be done on your own—make your own title, labels, etc.  If the identical graph is turned in for multiple people, none of the individuals will receive credit for the graph portion of the analysis!

2. INTRODUCTION-- The introduction must clearly state the objectives of the lab. It should also include background information on the topic that the lab is about.

3. PROCEDURE--First list ALL lab equipment used in performing the lab. Draw a sketch of the lab setup and label all equipment used. Then list numerically the steps used in completing the gathering of the data required for the lab. Be sure to mention how many trials were taken in the lab.

4. DATA-- Clearly list and label all raw data taken in the lab. Use a table or some other such method for presenting measurements. Make sure units are clearly labeled for all measurements.

5. CALCULATIONS-- Briefly explain what quantity is being calculated and why. Then show all formulas needed, including algebraic manipulations of standard equations where necessary. Then show the calculations for each trial. In this section also include all graphs and charts when required. This section will also contain the error calculation when required.

6. ANALYSIS-- Here, in a single section, ALL questions posed throughout the lab should be answered in order. Answer questions in full sentences and ALWAYS give reasons for Yes or No answers. If the question posed requires a calculated answer, be sure to show all standard equations along with working equations, inserted values and final answer. Show your work. This section will also contain an error analysis.

7. CONCLUSION-- In one paragraph each, explain which of the objectives were met in this lab and why, and which objectives failed to be met and why. In another paragraph describe how the lab could be improved by modifying the procedure or analysis.

8. APPENDIX—attach any lab sheets or notes used during the lab.

Hand written labs and graphs are allowed, but not recommended. If hand written, they must be neat and legible and in ink. Students should use word processing software (like Microsoft Word or Google Docs) to create the lab report. Software, such as Excel or Google Docs, should also be used to create graphs.  If needed the graphs can be hand drawn.


This is a great site to help students use Excel in Physics: http://phoenix.phys.clemson.edu/tutorials/excel/

You can find more software tutorials here: http://it.usu.edu/fact/htm/software-tutorials

For more information on writing lab reports:

Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday, November 15th

Today we are continuing Work and Energy.

So far, you have already learned and are able to:

§ calculate work done by a force, kinetic energy and gravitational potential energy;

§ explain that work done against friction is dissipated to the surroundings;

§ describe energy conversions and the conservation of energy.


Having completed this lesson, students should be able to:

- calculate the work done by a constant force in situations including those where the force is not in the same direction as the displacement;

- explain how the work done by a force is related to energy conversions and energy conservation;

- apply the principle of conservation of energy to simple examples (e.g. the motion of a load on a slope and the motion of a roller coaster car);

- use the equation for kinetic energy: KE = ½mv2;

- use the equation for gravitational potential energy changes: PE­­g = mgΔh.

Method: you will go to the computers as a group.

Log in and go to Multimedia Science School.

Select the following:



Work and Energy


Energy Transformations

As you go through the lesson, make sure you pay attention to each part of the lesson and take notes. Write down any questions (and answers) and information from each page in your notes that you think is helpful for future reference. I will be checking your notes at the end of the lesson. Do not write everything down.

Take notes of important and helpful information.

Try each simulation multiple times with different variables so you can truly see what is happening.

As you work through the lessons, perform the calculations for yourselves before selecting the final row in the ‘Calculate work’ table, to check your answers.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Schedule Update

Today, Wednesday 11/10
Period 2 - continued Work, Power, Energy. Homework is Packet 5, #5-10

Period 3 - we went over the homework (Packet 5, #1-4) and continued Work, Power, Energy. Homework is Packet 5, #5-10

Period 6 - we went over the homework (Packet 5, #1-4) and continued Work, Power, Energy. Homework is Packet 5, #5-10

Reminder: for extra help on this topic, go here: http://www.physicsclassroom.com/Class/energy/

Remember, no school on Thursday for Veterans' Day. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veterans_Day

Friday, 11/12

Period 2 - go over homework (Packet 5, #5-10), continue Work, Power, Energy lesson

Period 3 - go over homework (Packet 5, #5-10), continue Work, Power, Energy lesson

Period 6 - go over homework (Packet 5, #5-10), continue Work, Power, Energy lesson

Period 7 - go over homework (Packet 5, #5-10), continue Work, Power, Energy lesson

Monday, November 8, 2010

Schedule Update

Today, Monday, November 8th

Period 2 - part 1 of Work, Power, Energy lecture and then finished lab. Homework is Packet #5 , Problems 1-4

Period 3 - part 1 of Work, Power, Energy lecture. Homework is Packet #5 , Problems 1-4

Period 6 - part 1 of Work, Power, Energy lecture. Homework is Packet #5 , Problems 1-4

Period 7 - part 1 of Work, Power, Energy lecture. Homework is Packet #5 , Problems 1-4

Tuesday, November 9th

Period 2 - finish lab, go over homework from yesterday

Period 5 - part 1 of Work, Power, Energy lecture. Homework is Packet #5 , Problems 1-4
(finish LAB)

Period 7 - go over homework from yesterday, continue Work, Power, Energy unit.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


All physics classes are working on the Forces-Friction lab.

Thursday, November 4th:

Period 3 - finish the Forces-Friction LAB
Period 6 - Forces-Friction LAB

Friday, November 5th:
(we will NOT have the Quiz today due to many students being absent for The Challenge).

We will finish up Forces by discussing the lab and then seeing a short video as a review.

On Monday, November 8th we will start the next unit, which is Momentum. Momentum is closely related to Inertia. For some advance information on Momentum, check out this website:

Mr. A