We think that these plane figures can be organized into groups that share common properties. We went to Pythagoras but he died before he could tell us much. His last words were,

"Take measurements and focus on ratios..."

Beside his death bed we found 27 different pieces of cardboard cut into a variety of right triangles of various sizes and shapes. Please put the triangles into different groups that display at least two common characteristics and be prepared to explain to your instructor how you did it. You may wish to make a table of your measurements and calculations. Thanks and best wishes from Athens,

As always,

Your fellow students from Greece ]]>

1) Plot corrected counts/minute vs corrected distance.

2) Find the mathematical relationship from the graph.

3) Does doubling the distance cut the count rate in half? Check this mathematically.

4) Give a physical explanation of your results.

1) Comment on the absorption of the various objects used in part A. Include count rates.

2) Plot corrected counts/minute vs shielding thickness for paper, aluminum, and lead. Make 1 graph with 3 plots.

3) Find mathematical relationships for each plot and label it clearly.

4) Which material shields the best? Why do you think it is so?

5) Which radiation is most penetrating? Why do you think it is so?

1) Determine the radioactive half-life for the data sets given. See half-life data page. ]]>

2. This Halloween picture was taken by Chris Moore, a famous digital photographer of Lincoln. His daughter Ella was asked to guess whether she could see the image of the pumpkin in position A, Band C. Without any knowledge of optics, she had to go to each position to check. With your knowledge of optics, explain what you can see of the pumpkin in the mirror from each of the positions A, B, and C. Explain your reasoning using words and drawings as appropriate.

]]>An ADAPT student used a mechanical device to lift some heavy load. She recorded the following results:

Effort She Exerted Load She Lifted

10 lb. 410 lb.

22 lb. 520 lb.

33 lb. 620 lb.

45 lb. 730 lb.

60 lb. 860 lb.

77 lb. 1000 lb.

97 lb. 1200 lb.

1) Describe a method by which the student could determine the GENERAL relationship between the load she lifted and the effort she exerted. Is there more than one way that she could do it?

2) Decide on a method for your group. Use it to determine the general relationship between load and effort.

3) Use your results to predict the load she could lift if she exerted an effort of 50 lb. What about 115 lb? ]]>

Two groups, morning and afternoon, of students went out on campus and made repeated determinations of the height of Hamilton Hall and Mueller Tower. The six morning teams made a total of 18 different determinations on the height of each structure. The eight afternoon teams obtained 24 values. Shown below:

1. List a variety of ways you can determine a "best" value for each height.

2. Select a method and do it for each height.

3. What is a value for the uncertainty or possible error in your "best" values and how can you determine that.

4. Determine the "best values" for the heights of the 2 buildings from: morning data, afternoon data, all data.

5. Estimate an uncertainty for each group's data and all of the data. ]]>

The mental power of a linear relationship is our ability to use it to predict behaviors that we have not measured! So far we have used Cartesian (named for French mathematician René Descartes) graphs (see lab #3). Most of our labs have consisted of taking data, plotting the data on a Cartesian graph, and then finding the mathematical relationship between the variables by finding the slope and the starting value from the graph. However, not all graphs produce straight lines! The curves at the right are drawn from relationships between y and x called power laws. The general equation would look like y = Ax

A primary function of the labs was to get the students to develop their skills at finding patterns in the data they would get from the laboratory experiments.

This is the beginning of the data collecting laboratories. The students begin with a series of experiments that can give data that will result in a linear relationship between the variables. Then there follow experiments that yield power law relationships that can be shown as linear on log-log graph paper. Finally, the laboratories are experiments that can be exponential relationships which can be shown a linear on semi-log graphs.

Each group of students, in teams of four, are given a set of eight data cards that have numerical data sets on each card. They are asked to sort them into groups by their similarities. The students are encouraged by the instructions to seek the relationship between the two variables. Some students will insist on only looking as the spacing, etc. between the numbers in one set of the numbers.

After the groups have sorted their numbers into batches that are similar, the source of the data sets can be given to the groups to help them evaluate their batching process

]]>After 1981 the second semester of ADAPT physics was called Problem Solving Using Computers and involved the students in solving a variety of problems using applications software on Macintosh computers.

]]>The students are divided into small groups, around lab tables. The measuring instruments are provided to each group. Each group is treated as a different “country”. Each country is given a different set of measuring instruments: A ruler is a colored strip of paper marked off in ten divisions. Each country is given a different length for its ruler. A liquid volume measuring cup is a colored plastic cup marked off in ten divisions. Each country has a cup with a different volume. A pan balance with ten metal washers as the balancing units. Each country has a different size of washer for its mass unit. The name of a country was based on the color of its “ruler” and same color of its measuring cup.

Each country is given a supply of energy (symbolized by pieces of wire that will need to be measured in length), food (symbolized by pretzels that will need to be measured by mass) and water (which will need to be measured by volume) at the start. Each country has a different kind of pretzel. When setting up the countries at the start, before class starts, the instructor makes sure that the various countries have very different amounts of the natural resources.

Each country is required to trade with every one country at least once. ]]>