Webinar resources. VicPhys News 1/T3/20

Welcome back, the challenge of the adjusted Unit 4 begins.  Last Friday we held a webinar for beginning physics teachers and others focussing on Semester 2.  Over 50 teachers logged on. Along with three major presentations and several resources were prepared, many good suggestions came out of the discussions.  All these are now on our website.

If you are looking for some light relief, there is an online Physics Variety Night in August.

The next meeting of the Vicphysics Teachers’ Network will be on Thursday, 23rd July by Video Conference starting at 5:30pm.   If you wish to participate, please email Vicphysics

Jane Coyle (Pres), Dr Barbara McKinnon (Vice-Pres), Dan O’Keeffe OAM (Sec) and Paul Walters (Treas)

Table of Contents

  1.  Vicphysics Webinar: Friday, 10th July Presentations and resources are now online
  2.  New Physics Resource
  • Ten ways Physics has enhanced the medical field.  A Perimeter Institute webpage.

       3.  Physics Contests for Students in 2020
       4.  Seeking a Physics teacher? Seeking a job?
       5.Events for Students and General Public

  •  UNSW Bragg Science Prize for Science Writing for Years 7 – 10. Entries by 27th August, 2020

       6. Events for Teachers

  • 2020 Physics in the Cloud: A Physics Free-For-All Variety Night. 6:00pm, Friday, 21st August

       7. Physics News from the Web

  • Why insulated metals cool down faster than their bare counterparts
  • Beetle-inspired film reflects 95% of solar radiation
  • Table top device might snare gravitational waves using tiny diamonds

1.  Vicphysics Webinar: Friday 10th July. Presentation and Resources
Vicphysics held a webinar last Friday on planning for the second half of 2020. There were  50 participants on line.
The following resources are now available here.
Presentations on:

  • Teaching the adjusted Areas of Study 1 and 2 in Unit 4
  • Practical Activities for Unit 4 Waves and Light AoS
  • Data and Data Analysis in Practical Investigations
  • Creating Assessment Tasks that are not Tests

Support documents:

  • Beginning Physics Teacher Resource Package for 2020 (35 pages)
  • List of Practical and Online Activities for Semester 2 in 2020
  • Youtube Demonstrations for Unit 4
  • Assessment Tasks on Vicphysics website
  • Student booklet for Unit 4 Practical Investigation in 2020
  • VCE Physics Practical Work Handbook
  • Unit 4 Teaching plan
  • Worksheet on interference of light, as well as
  • The many suggestions that came up in discussion.

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2. New Physics Resource

  • Ten ways Physics has enhanced the Medical Field.  A Perimeter Institute webpage.  This Outreach article includes 10 poster quality images with explanatory text and striking images.  The images are not available as posters, but you can copy each image as a jpeg file. The topics include PET, MRI, LINAC, ventilators, lasers, ECG, Ultrasound, Adaptive optics, X-rays and enzyme interactions.

 Return to top3. Physics Contests for Students in 2020
a) Physics Photo Contest
Entrants must submit their photos by email attachment. The photo must accompanied by a statement of 250 words or less describing the physics in the photo.  Entries are limited to 10 per school each year. The photos can involve everyday situations that may demonstrate a variety of physics concepts or a set-up to show a particular physics concept or related set of concepts.

Prize pool: up to $1000.  Closing Date: The Friday of the first week of term 4.  For details click hereb) Physics Video Contest
Entrants must submit their video either as an email attachment or on a DVD. Videos must be in MP4 or Quicktime format, or a format suitable for video streaming. The video should relate to some aspect of the VCE Physics Curriculum. It may not be longer than three minutes in length. 
Students could use the videos by the keynote speaker at the 2012 Physics Teachers’ Conference, Dr Derek Muller, as a guide to how to structure a video. His videos can be found at his website

The submission must contain a statement of 250 words or less explaining the physics in the video. Entries are limited to 10 per school each year. Closing Date: Friday of the first week of Term 4. 
Prize pool: Up to $1000.  For details click here.c) Poster Competition for Unit 2 Practical Investigation
The Poster Competition is designed to award quality student work and to provide exemplars of quality investigations. There is a maximum of ten prizes, with a list of criteria on this webpage.  Entries need to be submitted as a one page pdf.  The posters should be sent as an email attachment by the teacher to Vicphysicsby the second Friday of Term 4.  Successful entries with judges’ comments are also on the webpage.Return to top4. Seeking a Physics teacher? Seeking a job?
The 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.

  • There is one Government school seeking a physics teacher: Roxburgh College

This webpage is updated every weekend.  The webpage also has a link on how schools can register a position and also lodge a payment for this service.

5. Events for Students and General Public
a) UNSW Bragg Prize for Science Writing for Years 7 – 10. Entries close 27th August.
The 2020 Theme is ‘The Big Ideas saving the Planet’.
Students write up to 800 words to describe some scientific research that has delivered a solution that the student believes could change the future for the planet.
This website has entry details, as well as FAQs, Teacher’s resources and Writing tips.Return to top 6. Events for Teachers
a) 2020 Physics in the Cloud: A Physics Free-For-All Variety Night, 6:00pm, Friday, 2st August
Physics in the Pub has gone virtual! An AIP Initiative.
Tiny magnets, cell goop and the future of the Universe
“We’ve digitized and uploaded our scientists and they’ll be streaming to you from the cloud, about the complex protein structures in our cells, how tiny magnets can cure cancer and, well, the philosophy of everything!
There’ll be songs, poems and quizzes, so have your device ready. Grab yourself a drink and join us online, with host Dr Phil Dooley of Phil Up On Science.”
Cost: Free, thanks to the AIP
For more information, click on Facebook here
To register, click here

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.

a)  Why insulated metals cool down faster than their bare counterparts.
A model devised by scientists at the University of Twente in the Netherlands sheds new light on the behaviour of metals cooled by liquid nitrogen – and specifically the somewhat counter-intuitive classical observation that insulated metals cool down faster than their bare counterparts.

A significant barrier to rapid cool-down in cryogenic systems is the evolution of a vapour film between the liquid-nitrogen coolant and the stainless-steel tubing that connects the cryogen bath to the cryogen storage tank. This phenomenon – known as the Leidenfrost effect – results in a low heat transfer rate and inefficient usage of precious coolant.

Now, Vanapalli and Jagga say they have come up with a workaround that addresses this problem while simultaneously optimizing the associated workflow.
b) Beetle-inspired film reflects 95% of solar radiation
A new flexible material for passive cooling that was inspired by a volcano dwelling beetle has been developed by scientists in China, the US and Sweden. The film reflects around 95% of solar irradiance, and can reduce the surface temperature of objects by around 5 °C. It could be used to cool everything from buildings to electronics, the researchers say. The surface enhances scattering and total internal reflection.

c)  Table top device might snare gravitational waves using tiny diamonds.
Rather than the kilometre-length observatories of today, future gravitational-wave detectors could be just a few metres long. That is the goal of physicists in the UK and the Netherlands, who have put forward a design for a matter-wave interferometer that would rely on the superposition of tiny objects such as diamond crystals rather than laser beams. They say that the device would be sensitive to low- and mid-frequency gravitational waves.
The latest work proposes a far smaller type of observatory based on interfering beams of matter rather than light. The particles in question would have a mass of about 10-17 kg, corresponding to a de Broglie wavelength of 10-17 m. This is about 100 billion times smaller than the wavelength of laser light used in existing observatories and could be exploited in an interferometer measuring as little as 1 m in length.

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