Monday, July 23, 2012

What Could Possible Go Wrong?

Due to a national Physics teacher conference coming to town, tomorrow will be our last da in the David Rittenhouse labs.  Because of the inconvenience, we had our demonstration day, usually the grand finale, this morning.  It consisted of Bill running around the front of the class room with his fun toys and gizmos, demonstrating physics in front of our eyes.  He blew bubbles to demonstrate buoyancy, shot a toy Barnie to show the effects of gravity, swung from the ceiling to produce oscillations, and blew up a model house to prove the benefits of lightning rods.  Saying it was an exciting morning would be an understatement.

To finish off the morning, we had a guest speaker, cosmologist Justin Khoury.  Given that he was the fourth cosmologist to speak to us, some of his talk was a repeat.  However, he went into some newer topics like string theory and the inflation of the universe.  Even after all these talks, it still baffles me how little is known about our gigantic universe.

In the afternoon, we broke in to new lab groups to start our speed of light projects.  We built the apparatus we will use tomorrow to measure the speed of light.  The construction was very complicated and frustrating, but these feelings only made it more exciting to see a finished project.

Once Ivette got out of class, she joined Mariko, Alysa, and I to go to Center City.  I am embarrassed to say this was my first trip to Center City. It was a lot of fun to eat at new places and do some shopping, I just wish we had time to go back again. We got on the Septa as the rain started to come down, and got back to the dorms with plenty of time for a workout.  I finished my evening with a lovely Skype call to my parents, whom, I'll admit, I'm starting to miss a little. 

Tomorrow we will measure the speed of light, and hopefully get a handle on our group presentations later in the week. Then I get to go play laser tag! It should be an awesome day, and a good way to make the most of my last few days here in Philadelphia. 

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