Yesterday, the BICEP2 collaboration announced their results which indicate detection of gravitational waves and direct evidence of cosmic inflation. While the plan for AP Physics B was to start the unit on nuclear physics today, we postponed that to talk about these results and the broader context needed to appreciate their significance. In AP Physics B, we do enjoy a cosmology unit after the AP exam, but I decided to introduce the ideas of Hubble expansion, cosmic microwave background radiation, the big bang and inflation today to provide context.
Students appeared to enjoy the change of pace and asked some really good questions. Some of which I was able to answer; some of which physicist are still trying to answer. I hope that every student left with an appreciation that physics is a dynamic field, there is a lot of questions left to answer, and we live in the golden age of cosmology.