Physics Conf, Exam solutions. Phys News 5/T4/19

The program for the 2020 Physics Teachers Conference has been released.  Bookings are now open.  Information about our other PD events during 2020 are also available.

Vicphysics solutions to last week’s November exam are now on our website.

The next meeting of the Vicphysics Teachers’ Network will be on Thursday, 12th December at Swinburne Senior Secondary College starting at 5:00pm.  This meeting will be the AGM.  If you wish to come, please email Vicphysics

Frances Sidari (Pres), Jane Coyle (Vice-Pres), Dan O’Keeffe (Sec) and Terry Tan (Treas)

Table of Contents

  1. 2020 Physics Teachers’ Conference, Friday, 14th February, La Trobe University
  2. Other Physics PD in 2020
  3. 2019 VCE Physics Exam: Solutions
  4. Why a tennis ball goes flying when dropped with a basketball? – An article with simulation
  5. Seeking a Physics Teacher? Seeking a job?
  6. Events for Students and General Public
  • The Unintended Humour of the Universe, 7:00pm, 29th November, Swinburne University
  • Physics Days at Luna Park: 3rd March – 6th March, 2020

7. Physics News from the Web

  • The relentless march of renewables
  • Sonic shock waves could help desalinate water
  • Refrigerator works by twisting and untwisting fibres
1. 2020 Physics Teachers Conference, Friday, 14th February and Saturday, 15th February, La Trobe University
The Program and Registration Form for next year’s Physics Teachers’ Conference are now available at STAV
and on the Vicphysics website.
The program includes:

  • An opening address on Light and Shade: Revolutionising medical imaging by exploring the wave nature of light by Dr Kaye Morgan, Monash University
  • Real World Physics Forum: Tequila and a microwave oven – how to grow a diamond and apply physics in the real world by Dr Alaistair Stacey, RMIT
  • 54 workshops across four sessions including a review of the 2019 Physics Exam by Andrew Hansen, the Chief Assessor, which is one of fifteen repeated workshops.
  • Extensive display of texts and equipment.
  • Saturday program of excursion tasters to the Australian Synchrotron and the Victorian Space Science Education Centre and a two hour medical physics in-service at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.

Cost: STAV Individual member: $192, STAV School subscriber: $310, Non-STAV member: $336, Retired teacher and full-time student: $78.

2. Other Physics PD in 2020
a) There will be a Beginning Physics Teacher In-Service on Tuesday, 31st March at Kew High School.  Click here for more details and to register.
b) There will be a Workshop for Lab Techs on Physics in Years 7 – 10 on Monday, 14th September at Camberwell Grammar School, organised in association with Camberwell Grammar School. Click here for more details.

3.  2019 VCE Physics Exam: Solutions
Vicphysics has prepared solutions for last week’s VCE Physics Exam.  They are available here.
The solutions are written for students to use when doing the exam paper for revision. A suggested marking scheme is included.
At the end of the solutions there are additional questions that use the stem from many of the questions in the paper.  In particular there are several extra questions on Question 19a, which only covered a limited set of the skills students are expected to use in their Unit 4 Investigation.

4. Why a tennis ball goes flying when dropped with a basket ball – An article with simulations
Dropping a tennis ball and basket ball together with the tennis ball on top is not only an impressive demonstration, it is an excellent topic for a Unit 2 or Unit 4 practical investigation.
Rhett Allain, professor of physics at North Carolina State University and a regular columnist in online magazine, Wired, has written an article on the phenomenon, which also has videos, graphs and a simulation written in glowscript, where the reader can edit the code.

5. Seeking a Physics Teacher? Seeking a job?
Last year Vicphysics Teachers’ Network set up a Job Ads page on our website to assist schools in finding a physics teacher, either to be a LSL replacement or to fill an ongoing position or just to cover an extended sick leave.  Several schools placed notices.
The web page also lists the Government schools seeking a physics teachers, currently there are three.  This web page will be updated every weekend.
The webpage also has a link on how schools can register a position and also lodge a payment for this service.

6.  Events for Students and General Public

a) The unintended humour of the Universe, 7:00pm, 29th November, Swinburne University
A special End of Year Lecture in ATC101.  Scientific research is not only fun but also funny. In this end of the year talk, Dr Tiantian Yuan explains how the universe makes us laugh and think. For more details and to book, click here.  Audio recordings of lectures in this series are also available at this link.

Dr Tiantian Yuan is an Astro 3D Fellow at Swinburne University’s Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing.
Her research goals include understanding how galaxies like our own Milky Way assembled and evolved from young galaxies in the early universe. Her research takes up the challenge of directly resolving high-redshift galaxies to the finest spatial scale.

Her current ASTRO 3D project at Swinburne focuses on when and how spiral arms formed in the early universe. The formation of spiral arms is part of the unsolved puzzle of the origin of the Hubble sequence. Despite early successes in the 1960s-70s, the necessary and sufficient conditions of spiral arm formation are still unknown. Breakthroughs can come from observations of high-redshift galaxies, when spiral arms are in their earliest stage of formation.

Tiantian obtained her PhD from the University of Hawa’ii, and held a postdoctoral fellowship at the ANU before coming to Swinburne in 2017.

b) Physics Days at Luna Park: 3rd March – 6th March2020
The dates for 2020 are Tuesday, 3rd March to Friday, 6th March.
Bookings are open for next year’s Physics Days at Luna Park, click on ‘Events’.  You can make a booking for a particular day this year and change your day once your timetable for 2020 is known. But please remember to notify Luna Park on any change of date at least a fortnight before the event.
An aerobatic display by a member of the Roulettes has been requested, but confirmation is often not provided before February next year.
The silly Serpent has been removed, two rides have been relocated and a new ride is being installed.
If you wish to book a Pasco data logger, please contact Ciderhouse directly.

Return to top

7  Physics from the Web
Items selected from the bulletin of the Institute of Physics (UK).
Each item below includes the introductory paragraphs and a web link to the rest of the article.

The relentless march of renewables

An article that assesses the current state of play of renewables by Dave Elliott, Emeritus Professor of technology policy at the Open University, UK.

Sonic shock waves could help desalinate water

Shock waves fired repeatedly into water samples can remove dissolved salts, according to A Sivakumar and Martin Britto Dhas of the Sacred Heart College in Tirupattur, India. The researchers say that the effect involves a cavitation-based nucleation mechanism that could be useful for the pretreatment of water at desalination plants. However, not everyone is convinced by their findings.

Refrigerator works by twisting and untwisting fibres

A new refrigeration technology based on the twisting and untwisting of fibres has been demonstrated by a team led by Zunfeng Liu at Nankai University in China and Ray Baughman at the University of Texas at Dallas in the US. As the demand for refrigeration expands worldwide, their work could lead to the development of new cooling systems that do not employ gases that are harmful to the environment.

The cooling system relies on the fact that some materials undergo significant changes in entropy when deformed. As far back as 1805 – when the concepts of thermodynamics were first being developed – it was known that ordinary rubber heats up when stretched and cools down when relaxed. In principle, such mechanocaloric materials could be used in place of the gases that change entropy when compressed and expanded in commercial refrigeration systems. Replacing gas-based systems is an important environmental goal because gaseous refrigerants tend to degrade the ozone layer and are powerful greenhouse gases.

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