- Beginning with the September 2010 issue of The Physics Teacher, one article per issue will be selected and supplemented with an interactive computer model developed using the Easy Java Simulations (EJS) code with the assistance of Wolfgang Christian. In this first issue, the article selected is “Calibration of a Horizontal Sundial” and includes three EJS models which illustrate the geometry of a north-oriented sundial’s shadow for different latitudes and times of day. In the same issue, be sure to read the enlightening Letters to the Editor by John Mallinckrodt and by Eugene Mosca, reminding us that force is not equal to the derivative of momentum for a system of “variable mass.”
- American Journal of Physics is also selecting one article per issue to supplement with EJS models. The October 2010 issue chose “A close examination of the motion of an adiabatic piston,” which includes a link to a molecular dynamics simulation in which a box is partitioned by an insulated piston that is jostled back and forth by two different Lennard-Jones gases in the two sides of the box.
- The September 2010 issue of Physics Education has a great way to demonstrate Poisson’s spot in class. All you need is a laser pointer and a pin with a round head, which is much simpler than the typical setup using collimation optics and a video camera. The September issue of the European Journal of Physics discusses in “A thermal paradox” the question of which reaches a higher steady-state temperature: a thin or a thick plate of the same material uniformly illuminated on one face by a constant beam of light? Theory is compared with experimental results. Both journals can be accessed at http://iopscience.iop.org/journals.
- A couple of articles caught my eye in the October 2010 issue of theJournal of Chemical Education. Page 1039 quantifies the hearing risk associated with exploding balloons containing hydrogen gas in class. Then on page 1071, a mechanical apparatus is discussed to model the Morse potential for anharmonic diatomic bonds.
- The Journal of Science Education and Technology recently published online an article entitled, “How the Discovery Channel Television Show Mythbusters Accurately Depicts Science and Engineering Culture.” See http://www.springer.com/education+%26+language/science+education/journal/10956.
- You don’t rate a chili pepper on RateMyProfessors.com? Well, maybe you or a colleague is a pizza slice or a harmonica instead! Check out the proposed new icons in the Chronicle of Higher Education at http://chronicle.com/article/RateMyProfessorsAppearancecom/124336/.
Disclaimer- The articles and opinion pieces found in this issue of the APS Forum on Education Newsletter are not peer refereed and represent solely the views of the authors and not necessarily the views of the APS.