Skills and Techniques

Title Post date
Using spreadsheets Keywords: absolute and relative cell references, chi-squared, Excel, formulas, graphing, model, OpenOffice Calc, simulating data, Solver, spreadsheets, trend line, uncertainties

Want a quick way to do calculations, simulate data and draw graphs? Here are some quck tips on using spreadsheets to do this!

In this activity, we will use an accepted physical model, that of an object falling in a vacuum, to create simulated data that could result from an experiment. We will then graph this data and fit a trend line to it.

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6 years 50 weeks ago
Useful Numbers Keywords: numbers, units, values

Wondering where we got our numbers from?  Check out this table!

A summary of numbers commonly used throughout the articles and where they came from. (e.g. energy content of fuels, solar power, greenhouse gasses etc.)

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6 years 48 weeks ago
Trend Analysis in the Context of Global Warming Keywords: anthropogenic climate change, climate, climate change, trend analysis

There are many sources ranging from politicians to mass media that claim that the Earth is actually cooling, not warming as scientists say it is. Unusually cold periods and local changes in weather are generally the cause for these statements. Why are these claims inaccurate?

There are many claims made refuting the existence of global warming. Most of these claims come from looking at very short term data in a very localized region. Global warming, as the name implies, is an increase in the global temperature and conclusions about it cannot be reached using measurements localized in time and space. Doing so is called "cherry picking".

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1 year 37 weeks ago
Symbols and Units Used on this Site Keywords: symbols, units

Wondering what each symbol refers to?

A summary of symbols commonly used throughout the articles.

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6 years 46 weeks ago
Significant Figures Keywords: calculators, mathematics, physics, significant figures, what numbers mean

This tyrannosaurus is 70,000,003 years old. How many significant figures should I quote?

We examine this perennial student hang-up.

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6 years 45 weeks ago
Scientific Notation Keywords: scientific notation

The suspect is a male, age 1.73 × 109 s, height 1.83 m, weight 7.5 × 101 kg.

Understanding how to express numbers in a way that is easily understood.

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6 years 45 weeks ago
Order of Magnitude Calculations Keywords: approximation, calculation, estimation, order of magnitude

How can we make reasonable approximations without tedious calculations?

Use order of magnitude calculations to make reasonable approximations.

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6 years 48 weeks ago
LaTex Expressions - Symbols and Units Keywords: LaTeX, symbols, units

Wondering what each symbol refers to?

A summary of symbols commonly used throughout the articles and the corresponding LaTeX expressions.

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6 years 45 weeks ago
Histograms, Measurement, and Uncertainty 3 years 33 weeks ago
Dimensional Analysis Keywords: checking answers, dimensional analysis, units

Unsure if your result makes sense?

Learn how to check if results make sense by analyzing the units involved in the calculations.

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6 years 48 weeks ago
Balance of Rates: A Thought Experiment Keywords: carbon emissions, rates, unbalanced rates

We often look at the number of tonnes of carbon dioxide we emit into the atmosphere for a given activity. But what if it's not a question of how much- but rather, how fast?

We are pumping tens of billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year. In contrast, the naturally occurring exchanges of carbon dioxide happen in the hundreds of billions of tonnes. Does this render our human activity insignificant? In this activity, we explore how even small differences in a balance can cause a large influence over time.

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1 year 18 weeks ago
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