Watch alpha particles escape from a polonium nucleus, causing radioactive alpha decay. See how random decay times relate to the half life.
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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 real world task requires students to answer questions about equations for calculating compound interest.
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.
This lesson unit is intended to help teahcers assess how well students solve problems involving measurement, and in particular, to identify and help students who have the following difficulties; computing measurements using formulas; decomposing compound shapes into simpler ones; using right triangles and their properties to solve real-world problems.
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.
This task gives students an opportunity to work with exponential functions in a real world context involving continuously compounded interest. They will study how the base of the exponential function impacts its growth rate and use logarithms to solve exponential equations.
This lesson unit is intended to help teachers assess how well students are able to interpret exponential and linear functions and in particular to identify and help students who have the following difficulties: translating between descriptive, algebraic and tabular data, and graphical representation of the functions; recognizing how, and why, a quantity changes per unit intervale; and to achieve these goals students work on simple and compound interest problems.
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.
Play ball! Add charges to the Field of Dreams and see how they react to the electric field. Turn on a background electric field and adjust the direction and magnitude. (Kevin Costner not included).
This lesson unit addresses common misconceptions relating to probability of simple and compound events. The lesson will help you assess how well students understand concepts of: Equally likely events; randomness; and sample sizes.
In this activity, learners use pattern blocks and mirrors to explore symmetry. Learners work in pairs and build mirror images of each other's designs. In doing so, learners will examine principles of symmetry and reflection.
Play with a bar magnet and coils to learn about Faraday's law. Move a bar magnet near one or two coils to make a light bulb glow. View the magnetic field lines. A meter shows the direction and magnitude of the current. View the magnetic field lines or use a meter to show the direction and magnitude of the current. You can also play with electromagnets, generators and transformers!
Learn how to make waves of all different shapes by adding up sines or cosines. Make waves in space and time and measure their wavelengths and periods. See how changing the amplitudes of different harmonics changes the waves. Compare different mathematical expressions for your waves.