Day 41: Central Force & Comet Orbits

AP Physics: Central Force

Students used a Direct Measurement Video of a weight on a rotating table to find a relationship between force and tangential velocity. One of the first questions on my activity was to draw a free-body diagram of the weight and determine whether there is any net force. A lot of groups had some great discussion as they tried to rectify the fact that the table rotates with a pretty constant speed with the fact that their free-body diagrams showed a net force on the weight. There were also some groups that asked questions like how the speed of the banana compared to the speed of the weight, bringing them back to a Direct Measurement Video of a rotating disk we’d used earlier in the year.


Earth Science: Comet Orbits

A major theme this week is comparing different kinds of solar system objects, so I decided to take an idea Michael Lerner gave me last week and have students compare the orbit of Halley’s Comet to Mars. I used an ellipse drawer to give students the orbit of both objects, then had them start by making some observations. Today, most groups only had time for the qualitative questions about the two orbits.


One thought on “Day 41: Central Force & Comet Orbits

  1. Pingback: Day 44: Central Forces & Orbit Wrap-Up | stoeckel180

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