Monday, March 30, 2009

Skinny Fish Tank media

The Skinny Fish Tank has now been unleashed to the world, thanks to Arbor Scientific. They call it the Laser Viewing Tank (P2-7690), but it's still a skinny fish tank to me. It's very low tech and doesn't seem worth very useful until you see it in action.

Even though I know how groovy it is, I'm still amused by the enthusiasm I see in colleagues when they see it in operation.

Here's a photo album I made for Arbor using a prototype (that had seen years of classroom use).

And here's Arbor's product description video. Don't you wish all science suppliers made videos of their products in action? Arbor's created dozens of these things and is always making more. Let's hope other companies follow Arbor's lead.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

PhET postings

As mentioned in previous posts, I'm a big fan of the PhET simulations.

Today, I posted three activities to PhET's teacher-sharing resource. These are PDFs of student pages and notes for classroom activities/virtual labs.

"Worlds of Wonder" can be found at PhET's "My Solar System" simulation description page. First you simulate Newton's Cannon; eventually you find the relationship between orbital radius and orbital speed.

"Quest for the Coulomb Cup" can be found as PhET's "Electric Field Hockey" simulation page. I tried to recreate the student activity I originally wrote to accompany the old, original Ruth Chabay/Academic Software simulation that I can no longer run. This one remains a student favorite.

"Water Waves in an Electric Sink" can be found at PhET's "Wave Interference" simulation page. It allows exploration of the effects of changing the amplitude or frequency of a wave source.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Imperial March

Musical Tesla Coil + John Williams' Star Wars Music = Big Geek Fun

Oh yeah, and did I mention a dude dons some shiny Faraday fashion and takes the jolts.

Kids, don't try this at home.

(Tip of the tin foil hat to Frank Noschese and the AP Physics Listserv.)

Monday, March 16, 2009

New and used high-speed video

I'm in the process of organizing and adding to the content of my high-speed video page. The work continues, but much of it is done. And there are new clips aplenty.