Density of soap

Term start spring 2018 began with noting the focus in the course on both the mathematical models that describe physical systems and on the writing-communication core to scientific endeavor. As an attempt to illustrate the mathematics underneath a system, I sketched the parabolic arc of a ball on the board. Then I showed how three balls still follow a parabolic arc. Following this I mounted my RipStik and juggled while riding across the room. I noted that I see a different parabola than the students, but we all see parabolic paths for the balls. The underlying mathematics remains the same.

Jaynard and May-me measuring the dimensions of the soap

Half way through the class I shifted and passed out the pre-assessment. Wednesday I went over the pre-assessment. The results were weak with a median of only four correct out of eleven. After noting that one does not learn mathematics in a math class, I introduced density for metal and wood cubes.

Thursday I gave a brief introduction to the density of soap procedure after reading Dyson's quote.

For a physicist mathematics is not just a tool by means of which phenomena can be calculated, it is the main source of concepts and principles by means of which new theories can be created... ...equations are quite miraculous in a certain way. I mean, the fact that nature talks mathematics, I find it miraculous. I mean, I spent my early days calculating very, very precisely how electrons ought to behave. Well, then somebody went into the laboratory and the electron knew the answer. The electron somehow knew it had to resonate at that frequency which I calculated. So that, to me, is something at the basic level we don't understand. Why is nature mathematical? But there's no doubt it's true. And, of course, that was the basis of Einstein's faith. I mean, Einstein talked that mathematical language and found out that nature obeyed his equations, too. – Physicist Freeman Dyson

Myra makes measurements

This term I did not have Galileo's quote on hand.

La filosofia è scritta in questo grandissimo libro, che continuamente ci sta aperto innanzi agli occhi (io dico l' Universo'), ma non si può intendere, se prima non il sapere a intender la lingua, e conoscer i caratteri ne quali è scritto. Egli è scritto in lingua matematica,...

which might be translated as:

[Science] is written in that great book which ever lies before our eyes — I mean the universe — but we cannot understand it if we do not first learn the language and grasp the symbols, in which it is written. This book is written in the mathematical language,... – Galileo Galilei

Benter and Suzanne consider their data

After measuring five different soap slab sizes, the class moved up to the computer laboratory to cover the mechanics of creating a laboratory report using Desmos and Google Docs in Schoology Enterprise where I am using the Google Drive Assignments LTI.

The snipping tool was demonstrated for moving screenshots from Desmos into Google Docs on Windows.

Venister records data while Kyle cuts soap