Friday, November 16, 2018

You've heard about the new kilogram, but here are the unit changes nobody's talking about

I clearly have no skill in writing clickbait headlines. Anyway...

Let this be our last post about the kilogram. We've had posts on the kilogram



and here.

It seems we have at last moved away from the physical kilogram standard, Le Grand K, near Paris (and it's many replicas around the world). The new kilogram is based on electric current, which seems counter-intuitive at first.

The new definition of the kilogram will change the way we weigh everything

But wait: there's more. The mainstream media's stories omitted changes to the mole, kelvin, and ampere.

Veritasium has the story.

Friday, November 02, 2018

Earth Science Week 5: Astronomy Beyond the Solar System

Okay, the title here might not be the most perfect fit. But it meshes so nicely with the title of Series 4, I went with it.

Stars, exoplanets, galaxies, and such. This is the grooviest stuff in Earth Science if you ask me.

The Hubble retrospective, Nova's Invisible Universe Revealed, puts a catch in my throat and tears on my cheek every time I watch it.

And when you get Alex Filippenko and Neil deGrasse Tyson in the same video (as you do in The Universe's Life and Death of a Star), I'm in!

The hot links to the videos below were active when I posted this, but may well have moved on by the time you read this. Your resilience and resourcefulness will get you access to these documentaries.

Earth Science Series 5: Astronomy Beyond the Solar System

5.1. Stars. The Universe: Life and Death of a Star

The History Channel wants you to go through them to gain access.

5.2. Exoplanets. NOVA: Life Beyond Earth 2. Moons and Beyond

5.3. Hubble Space Telescope. NOVA: Invisible Universe Revealed

5.4. Galaxies The Universe: Alien Galaxies

Here's a link to the Lessons of Phyz question sets at Teachers Pay Teachers:
Earth Science Series 5: Astronomy Beyond the Solar System

Thursday, November 01, 2018

Earth Science Week 4: Astronomy in the Solar System

Having addressed earth, wind, and water in previous sets, it's time to look beyond the atmosphere.

The first time I watched Nova's Meteor Strike, I nearly fell out of my chair. My University of Michigan dorm mate and Physics 401 classmate, Dan Durda, was one of the interviewed scientists.

He and I (and other similarly interested Michigan friends) enjoyed Jim Loudon's Astrofests religiously back in the day. And that 401 class was a shared experience, to be sure. Humbling, but at least it was taught by the outstanding Dr. Jean Krisch, who pointed me in the direction of the inimitable Walt Scheider when it came time for me to do my student teaching.  I was flooded with fond memories when science rockstar, Dan Durda, popped up on the screen.

But I digress. It's a blog; digressions are allowed (if not openly encouraged).

As always, the hot links to videos shown below will likely expire and move on. Use your judgment, resources, and Google-fu to access the content. These videos do tend to be available for purchase.

4.1. Sun Earth Moon. NOVA: Meteor Strike

4.2. The Solar System. NOVA: Life Beyond Earth 1. Are We Alone?

4.3. Stars. NOVA: Secrets of the Sun

Here is the link to the Lessons of Phyz question sets at Teachers Pay Teachers to accompany these videos: