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Fall 2013 Meeting - Oakton Community College

Fall 2013 Meeting

Oakton Community College

November 16, 2013
Des Plaines Campus 
1600 E. Golf Rd. 60016
 Room 1610


Breakfast and Registration


Ted Erikson,    

R/E UnLtd.         


"The contest submission,, to address the 2012 FQXi question ""Which of the Basic Physical Assumptions are Wrong?"" is re-examined with respect to ""activities"", probabilities, and panpsychism.               Four points, equidistant and non-collinear, define a sphere and a regular tetrahedron.  With sphere inscribed in the regular tetrahedron, their surface-to-volume ratios are equal at any   size. Two sets of four different points define a smaller tetrahedron and a larger sphere, respectively. Assumed as mass and energy, such ""activities"" are likened to the Planck constant.   The graphing of four points as a regular tetrahedron forms 16 trees that imply 1-D (6 lines), 2-D (9 areas) and 3-D (1 volume).  Respective probabilities are 6/16, 9/16, and 1/16 (or 0.0625) for creating open-faced volumes of tetrahedral and inscribed spherical spaces. Evolving together suggests a resonance of mass and energy.   Dr. Tykodi's ""thermo-staedics"" involve steady rates of energy transfers in a classical sense. Incorporated into Heisenberg's ""uncertainty principle"", E x t > h, implies P x t^2 > h!   Fantappie""s 1942 ""Syntropy"" introduced time as plus or minus and Di Corpo's 2013 ""resonance"" relates entropy to it. Roche's 2010 doctoral thesis, ""Defense of Panpsychism"" (in words) may be made quantitative."



Paul J. Dolan, Jr.,  

Northeastern Illinois University

 “Fill the Box, Fill only the Box …” – Ideas About Non-Standard Quizzes.               

From the earliest grades we teach students that when they find a blank space on a quiz, homework, lab (data table) or any assignment, then they must put something in it.  Furthermore, we teach them that they must put only ONE something in it, and that there is in fact ONLY one correct something that could go in the box.  This fosters ‘in the box’ thinking, and likely hampers scientific thinking.    We will DO some quizzes that break this mold, and help foster thinking ‘out of the box’ – so bring your sharpened pencils!



Joseph Kozminski,   

Lewis University              

Preliminary Recommendations from the Lab Goals Subcommittee        

A subcommittee of the AAPT Committee on Labs has been working this fall on a set of recommendations for undergraduate labs at all levels.  This talk will present the history and charge of the subcommittee and current state of this work. There will also be an opportunity for discussion and feedback on the committee's recommendations.





Invited Talk: Dr. Gabriel Spalding

Illinois Wesleyan U

Updating Lab Curricula





Lyle Lichty,        

Cornell College 

Using "Praat" for Acoustics Demonstrations and Labs     

Praat is a free software package developed primarily for the synthesis and analysis of   speech.   Its ability to create, modify, and analyze a wide range of sounds make it a useful tool in acoustics demonstrations and labs.  I will present several lesser-known but valuable demonstrations involving spectra and aural perception as an introduction to the capabilities of the Praat program.



Richard DeCoster, Vivian Hoette, 

Stars at Yerkes Observatory       

Hubble's Variable: 90 Years Later  

We present preliminary results of our ongoing analysis of Hubble’s variable V1 located   within the Andromeda spiral nebula that is based on several hundred images taken with the Yerkes 41-inch reflecting telescope.  Edwin Hubble’s discovery of this Cepheid variable in October, 1923, combined with earlier equally remarkable discoveries by Henrietta Leavitt and Harlow Shapley, among others, revolutionized our understanding of the structure of our physical universe.  We very briefly review work that has been done involving V1 since Hubble’s analysis, including a recent joint effort by the Space Telescope Science Institute’s Hubble Heritage Project and the American Association of Variable Star Observers that is aimed at establishing reliable ephemeris for the variable.  We [a] present our own results in the form of a light curve that allows us to predict the time of maximum for this star, and [b] discuss how this work could be accommodated within the standard high school physics curriculum.  In order to establish a more reliable ephemeris for V1, our work will be continued through the 2014 observing season.




Katarzyna Pomian,          

Loyola University Chicago            

Physics of Stringed Instruments     

We are studying the properties of stringed instruments that contribute to their unique sounds and yet, set them apart. The goal is to understand how stringed instruments function, and what sets the different instruments apart in sound and function. We have analyzed the string resonances and body properties of thirteen instruments including some of the lesser studied ones. We analyzed sound data for each instrument under different initial conditions. The strings were excited at different locations using various techniques, such as plucking and bowing. We also took high speed videos for a better understanding of the wave generated by each instrument. Body analysis using Chladi patterns helped us to observe the properties of the bodies. A cross comparison of the instruments revealed variances in the sound, based upon the unique characteristics of each instrument. This project provides a comprehensive analysis of stringed instruments.



Kara Beauchamp,       

Cornell College 

Teaching Introductory Electricity and Magnetism (non-calculus) using Sequenced Interactive Questioning

I have found the interactive question sequence developed by David Metzler and Kandiah Manivannan in Workbook for Introductory Physics to be very helpful for teaching the electricity and magnetism components of our non-calculus Introductory Physics II to primarily pre-health science students in classes with a maximum of 25 students.  I start each class with a brief lecture to introduce new concepts and to connect the new concepts to previous concepts the class has studied.  Then I use the interactive question sequence which focuses on the concept that I introduced, starting with straight-forward questions that students should be able to answer correctly. The questions have multiple choice answers to choose from.  I use flashcards and the “think-pair-share” method of eliciting students’ answers. As the questions progress, the questions involve more reasoning steps and get harder for students to answer.  When students get stuck, I can offer more explanation.  Through this process, students confront misconceptions and have “aha” moments.



Lunch, Business Meeting



Workshop: Laboratories at Many Levels


Paul Dolan, Northeastern Illinois University

Joe Kozminski, Lewis University




Martha Lietz,
Nov 17, 2013, 7:32 AM
Martha Lietz,
Nov 17, 2013, 7:32 AM
Martha Lietz,
Nov 17, 2013, 7:32 AM