Day 162: Quantum Mechanics Guest Lecturer

Today, one of my former students, who is a physics major at Cornell University, returned to my classroom to be a guest lecturer on quantum mechanics. Her talk was fantastic for several reasons. The level of the lecture was appropriate because, as an alumni, she knew what my students have already learned. She explained concepts really clearly without relying on mathematics well beyond my students, yet still alluded to the mathematical models so students appreciate them. As a physics major crushing her classes and doing really interesting research, she is an inspiration role model for my students. Thanks Cari!

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  ##quantum  

Day 156-161: Physics for the 21st Century

I had an extended absence from school. As a result, I’m grouping the days I was gone into chunks to at least capture the time period. These shouldn’t be considered model lessons, but they worked out okay.

After the AP exam, we do a particle physics and cosmology unit. We already started the particle physics unit in preparation for the Particle Physics Masterclass at Fermilab.

The day after the AP exam, students watched the Nova’s The Big Bang Machine. It is a great overview of particle physics and sets the stage for future activities and topics we will study.

Now done with the AP exam, students started a self-paced exploration of modern physics: Physics for the 21st Century. The online resources are excellent and seem to align well with the readiness of the students. They will start with unit 1 and continue through the units at their own pace for the week.

  ##modern ##cosmology ##particlephysics  

Days 151 – 154: AP Physics 2 Exam Review

I had an extended absence from school. As a result, I’m grouping the days I was gone into chunks to at least capture the time period. The next two weeks shouldn’t be considered model lessons, but they worked out okay.

On the first day, I gave students sample free response question #3 from the Course and Exam Description document since they needed more practice with short response questions.

The next three days, students work in pairs at their own pace. First they tackled the sample multiple choice questions from the Course and Exam Description document. Discussing each answer with their partner as they progressed and discussing with others pairs when questions remained.

After completing the multiple choice, pairs reviewed a set of review notes that I prepared based on gaps I identified based on the results of the practice AP exam and questions that were asked in class. One topic about which students had questions was entropy. I love Knight’s College Physics text that we are using this year. However, I have found the Etkina’s College Physics text has a better section on entropy, microstates, and macrostates. So, I had students read that section as a supplement.

  ##ap &nsbp;