group Small Group Activity

30 min.

Ideal Gas Model

Ideal Gas surfaces thermo

Students should be familiar with the basic definitions of pressure, volume, temperature, and internal energy.

groups Whole Class Activity

10 min.

Pineapples and Pumpkins
AIMS Maxwell AIMS 21 Static Fields Winter 2021

Integration Sequence

There are two versions of this activity:

As a whole class activity, the instructor cuts a pumpkin in order to produce a small volume element \(d\tau\), interspersing their work with a sequence of small whiteboard questions. This version of the activity is described here.

As a small group activity, students are given pineapple rounds and pumpkin wedges to explore area volume elements in cylindrical and spherical coordinate systems. In this version of the activity, the fruit is distribued to the students with appropriate children's pumpkin cutting equipment, as part of activities Vector Differential--Curvilinear, Scalar Surface and Volume Elements, or Vector Surface and Volume Elements.

biotech Experiment

60 min.

Microwave oven Ice Calorimetry Lab
Energy and Entropy Fall 2020 Energy and Entropy Fall 2021

heat entropy water ice thermodynamics

The students will set up a Styrofoam cup with heating element and a thermometer in it. They will measure the temperature as a function of time, and thus the energy transferred from the power supply.

group Small Group Activity

30 min.

Vector Integrals (Contour Map)

E&M Path integrals

group Small Group Activity

10 min.

Survivor Outer Space: A kinesthetic approach to (re)viewing center-of-mass
Central Forces Spring 2021 A group of students, tethered together, are floating freely in outer space. Their task is to devise a method to reach a food cache some distance from their group.

group Small Group Activity

30 min.

Covariation in Thermal Systems

Thermo Multivariable Functions

Students consider how changing the volume of a system changes the internal energy of the system. Students use plastic graph models to explore these functions.

group Small Group Activity

30 min.

Quantifying Change (Remote)

Thermo Derivatives

In this activity, students will explore how to calculate a derivative from measured data. Students should have prior exposure to differential calculus. At the start of the activity, orient the students to the contour plot - it's busy.

group Small Group Activity

30 min.

Electric Potential of Two Charged Plates
Students examine a plastic "surface" graph of the electric potential due to two changes plates (near the center of the plates) and explore the properties of the electric potential.

group Small Group Activity

30 min.

Gravitational Force

Mechanics Gravitational Force Gravitational Potential Energy Derivatives Introductory Physics

Students examine a plastic "surface" graph of the gravitational potential energy of a Earth-satellite system to make connections between gravitational force and gravitational potential energy.

group Small Group Activity

5 min.

Heat and Temperature of Water Vapor (Remote)

Thermo Heat Capacity Partial Derivatives

In this introduction to heat capacity, students determine a derivative that indicates how much the internal energy changes as the temperature changes when volume is held constant.

group Small Group Activity

30 min.

Thermodynamic States (Remote)

Thermo

Little is needed. Some students might be bothered by thinking about entropy if it hasn't been mentioned at all in class. Try doing this activity as a follow-up to the “Changes in Internal Energy" about the first law of thermodynamics.

group Small Group Activity

30 min.

Electric Field of Two Charged Plates
  • Students need to understand that the surface represents the electric potential in the center of a parallel plate capacitor. Try doing the activity “Electric Potential of a Parallel Plate Capacitor” before this activity.
  • Students should know that
    1. objects with like charge repel and opposite charge attract,
    2. object tend to move toward lower energy configurations
    3. The potential energy of a charged particle is related to its charge: \(U=qV\)
    4. The force on a charged particle is related to its charge: \(\vec{F}=q\vec{E}\)

group Small Group Activity

120 min.

Equipotential Surfaces

E&M Quadrupole Scalar Fields

Students are prompted to consider the scalar superposition of the electric potential due to multiple point charges. First a single point charge is discussed, then four positive charges, then an electric quadrupole. Students draw the equipotential curves in the plane of the charges, while also considering the 3D nature of equipotentials.

group Small Group Activity

30 min.

Operators & Functions
Quantum Fundamentals Winter 2021 Students are asked to:
  • Test to see if one of the given functions is an eigenfunction of the given operator
  • See if they can write the functions that are found not to be eigenfunctions as a linear combination of eigenfunctions.

group Small Group Activity

60 min.

Gravitational Potential Energy

Mechanics Gravitational Potential Energy Zero of Potential Introductory Physics

Students examine a plastic “surface” graph of the gravitational potential energy of an Earth-satellite system to explore the properties of gravitational potential energy for a spherically symmetric system.