Queue 'News Box'

Light Bulb Efficiency and Hand Crank Energy Generation

What does it really take to power a light bulb?

Big Ideas: 
  • Energy can be converted from one form to another (e.g., mechanical to electrical).
  • By comparing the amount of power used to create electricity with the amount of electrical power actually generated, we can estimate how efficient we are at making electricity.
  • Different types of light bulbs (incandescent, LED) need different amounts of electrical power to generate the same amount of light. Some are more efficient than others.

Purpose

The purpose of this experiment is to get a feel, literally, for how electrical power is generated, and to develop an appreciation for how this electricity is used. Students will investigate the power consumption of different light sources, while exploring the conversion of mechanical energy to electrical energy and making measurements on a simple electric circuit.
 

Introduction

Pitot Tubes

How can wasps endanger a commercial airline flight?

Big Ideas: 
  • Pitot tubes are used to measure speed of fluid.
  • Pitot tubes are applied to determine the air speed of aircraft.
  • Bernoulli's equation forms the basic explanation of how a Pitot tube measures fluid speed.

On November 21, 2013, an A330 flight had to make an emergency landing, shortly after takeoff at Brisbane Airport 1 .

Light Theremin (Advanced)

Is it possible to create a musical instrument that can be played without direct contact?

Big Ideas: 
  • A photoresistor changes its resistance based on how much light it sees
  • A speaker can be run by sending an alternating current through it
  • An operational amplifier can be used to create a sine wave

Purpose:

Light Theremin (Simple)

Is it possible to create a musical instrument that can be played without direct contact?

Big Ideas: 
  • A photoresistor changes its resistance based on how much light it sees
  • A speaker can be run by sending an alternating current through it
  • An inverter can be used to produce a square wave

Purpose:

To create a Light Theremin, a musical instrument that can be played by using your hand to control how much light the instrument sees. Different amounts of light lead to different pitches, and with practice simple songs can be played.

Histograms, Measurement, and Uncertainty

What's with that +/- symbol?

Big Ideas: 
  • Uncertainty
  • Repeated Measurements
  • Histograms

You’ve probably run into this symbol before: +/-. You see it in the news when political poles are being discussed, or in science textbooks. You know it has something to do with “error”. But what does it really mean?

Greening your life with a little physics (and chemistry)

We are bombarded by marketing that is full of greenwash and sustainababble. How can we live better without being duped spending money on useless feel-good exercises?

Let's use some very basic physics and chemistry to cut to the chase.

Talk given by Chris Waltham at UBC's Open House 2013.05.25

 

a place of mind, The University of British Columbia

C21: Physics Teaching for the 21st Century
UBC Department of Physics & Astronomy
6224 Agricultural Road
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1
Tel 604.822.3675
Fax 604.822.5324
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