Watch alpha particles escape from a polonium nucleus, causing radioactive alpha decay. See how random decay times relate to the half life.
In this interactive game adapted from the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, build a food web that illustrates the flow of energy in an Antarctic ecosystem and the relationships between predators and prey.
The purpose of this learning video is to show students how to think more freely about math and science problems. Sometimes getting an approximate answer in a much shorter period of time is well worth the time saved. This video explores techniques for making quick, back-of-the-envelope approximations that are not only surprisingly accurate, but are also illuminating for building intuition in understanding science. This video touches upon 10th-grade level Algebra I and first-year high school physics, but the concepts covered (velocity, distance, mass, etc) are basic enough that science-oriented younger students would understand. If desired, teachers may bring in pendula of various lengths, weights to hang, and a stopwatch to measure period. Examples of in- class exercises for between the video segments include: asking students to estimate 29 x 31 without a calculator or paper and pencil; and asking students how close they can get to a black hole without getting sucked in.
Experiment with a helium balloon, a hot air balloon, or a rigid sphere filled with different gases. Discover what makes some balloons float and others sink.
Why does a balloon stick to your sweater? Rub a balloon on a sweater, then let go of the balloon and it flies over and sticks to the sweater. View the charges in the sweater, balloons, and the wall.
Explore the origin of energy bands in crystals of atoms. The structure of these bands determines how materials conduct electricity.
This trick from Exploratorium physicist Paul Doherty lets you add together the bounces of two balls and send one ball flying. When we tried this trick on the Exploratorium's exhibit floor, we gathered a crowd of visitors who wanted to know what we were doing. We explained that we were engaged in serious scientific experimentation related to energy transfer. Some of them may have believed us. If you'd like to go into the physical calculations of this phenomenam, see the related resource "Bouncing Balls" - it's the same activity but with the math explained.
Look inside a resistor to see how it works. Increase the battery voltage to make more electrons flow though the resistor. Increase the resistance to block the flow of electrons. Watch the current and resistor temperature change.
Look inside a battery to see how it works. Select the battery voltage and little stick figures move charges from one end of the battery to the other. A voltmeter tells you the resulting battery voltage.
Watch beta decay occur for a collection of nuclei or for an individual nucleus.
When will objects float and when will they sink? Learn how buoyancy works with blocks. Arrows show the applied forces, and you can modify the properties of the blocks and the fluid.
This learning video uses a simple analog setup to explore why earthquakes are so unpredictable. The setup is simple enough that students should be able to assemble and operate it on their own with a teacher's supervision. The teaching approach used in this module is known as the 5E approach, which stands for Engagement, Exploration, Explanation, Elaboration, and Evaluation. Over the course of this lesson, the basic mechanisms that give rise to the behavior of the simple analog system are explained, and further elaboration helps the students to apply their understanding of the analog system to complex fault systems that cause earthquakes
This video lesson aims to motivate students about chemistry and to raise their awareness about how chemistry helps in solving certain environmental problems. In this lesson, the air pollution problem created by cars and other vehicles is presented. The lesson will highlight causes of this problem, harmful products from it and possible solutions. There will also be discussion of ways to convert the pollutants produced by burning oil in vehicles into more friendly products.
Move point charges around on the playing field and then view the electric field, voltages, equipotential lines, and more. It's colorful, it's dynamic, it's free.
Experiment with conductivity in metals, plastics and photoconductors. See why metals conduct and plastics don't, and why some materials conduct only when you shine a flashlight on them.
Why do objects like wood float in water? Does it depend on size? Create a custom object to explore the effects of mass and volume on density. Can you discover the relationship? Use the scale to measure the mass of an object, then hold the object under water to measure its volume. Can you identify all the mystery objects?
Explore tunneling splitting in double well potentials. This classic problem describes many physical systems, including covalent bonds, Josephson junctions, and two-state systems such as spin 1/2 particles and ammonia molecules.
The Drawing Board consists of a marking pen that remains stationary and a platform that swings beneath the pen, acting as a pendulum. As the platform swings, the pen marks a sheet of paper that is fastened to the platform, generating beautiful repetitive patterns. These colorful designs contain hidden lessons in physics. This resource includes instructions for making a large-scale Drawing Board as well.
How many calories are in your favorite foods? How much exercise would you have to do to burn off these calories? What is the relationship between calories and weight? Explore these issues by choosing diet and exercise and keeping an eye on your weight.
- Health, Medicine and Nursing
- Life Science
- Forestry and Agriculture
- Material Type:
- University of Colorado Boulder
- Provider Set:
- PhET Interactive Simulations
- Franny Benay
- Kate Semsar
- Kathy Perkins
- Noah Podolefsky
- Sam Reid
- Wendy Adams
- Date Added:
Play hockey with electric charges. Place charges on the ice, then hit start to try to get the puck in the goal. View the electric field. Trace the puck's motion. Make the game harder by placing walls in front of the goal. This is a clone of the popular simulation of the same name marketed by Physics Academic Software and written by Prof. Ruth Chabay of the Dept of Physics at North Carolina State University.