Monday, July 16, 2012

Mathematical Monday

I woke up in a stage of disbelief that I was starting the second half of my stay here.  As if to prove a transition, class was different today.  First, Craig explained the interest groups we will be working in for the next few days.  We got to choose between 5 amazingly intriguing topics that build on what we've learned in the last two weeks.  I had a hard time ranking my top choices and I later found out I will be working in the Quantum Mechanics group.

After that, Bill started a lesson on exponential growth.  As a hardcore math lover, I enjoyed getting back to my roots and seeing physical situations represented by mathematical models.  We then got back in our Hershey Park groups and chose a situation to analyze.  The idea was to gather data on a physical system and see if it fit an exponential model.  My group looked at the decay rate of a radioactive chemical and saw what happens when you roll a container of 200 dice and take out all the ones (over and over and over again).

After an hour lunch break, we broke in to our interest groups for the afternoon.  My group will be going into further depth on the duality of light as a particle and a wave.  It is an extension of the very very very confusing lesson we had last week, but this time with more fun toys and detailed information.  I expect to be confused for most of the next week, but I'm excited to challenge myself.  Quantum Mechanics is an ever-changing field in Physics; it's amazing to be right in the middle of modern science. 

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