Home > Courses > PEP Physics Enrichment Program for High-School Students Instructor: Ed Sternin News Welcome! You have found the PEP home page. The PEP program is currently on hiatus. If you are a student interested in this program, or a teacher interested in offering such an enrichment opportunity to your students, please contact us. If a sufficient interest is expressed by about May of this year, we will consider offering the program again in the Winter Term (February-April) of the next academic year. Course outline (changing almost daily) Week 1. Preliminaries. Basic safety training. Feb.1 - 16:00-19:00 Science Safety course, MC B209 Feb.3 - no PEP Week 2. Math skills review. Where does Math end and Physics begin? Feb.6 - orientation, lab safety, course goals, essay: "My expectations of PEP", Brock Library orientation Feb.7 - math placement test Experimental theme: ball on a string Feb.8 - results of the math test; pendulum's "alphabet soup" Feb.9 - introduction to RPN calculators; a simple pendulum experiment Feb.10 - simple pendulum refinement; analysis with physica Week 3. Physicist's tools of the trade Feb.13 - kinematics: motion with $$\vec{a}={\rm const}$$, with $$\vec{V}={\rm const}$$; more physica Feb.14 - projectile and well: combinations (@same time, in turn) of the two types of motion Feb.15 - orbital motion as a continuous free fall; 1st escape velocity Experimental theme: pendulum and SHO, the ideal and deviations from it Feb.16 - dimensional analysis: $$\omega^2=k/m$$; plastic limit of deformations; exploring the limits of experimental apparatus Feb.17 - no PEP, short clock Week 4. Math vs. Physics vs. Data Analysis in problem solving Feb.20 - Family Day, no PEP Feb.21 - analysis of SHO data; what makes a problem difficult Feb.22 - student-developed problems Feb.23 - student problem: a falling ladder; rotational motion, torque, moment of inertia Experimental theme: the Cavendish experiment Feb.24 - the Cavendish experiment: measuring G, preliminary runs and learning to read the lab manual, see links under Homework as well Week 5. Math vs. Physics vs. Data Analysis in problem solving Feb.27 - the Cavendish experiment: c1.dat is ES run, ce.pcm is used to analyze it; c3-4.dat is a merge of c3 and c4, but there are problems; the movies (10fps) are to be analysed Feb.28 - stone down a well; solving $$x^2+bx+c=0$$ Feb.29 - programming a calculator; physica macro comparison Mar.01 - Cavendish film digitization (group work, data) Mar.02 - physics vs. magic. Friction on an inclined plane. Disk/ring, $$I\propto MR^2$$. Planning the final show. Week 6. Mar.05 - moment of inertia demo; collisions in 2D; Verdet glass. Vectors review: definitions, components, dot product, geometrical interpretation, generating algebraic equations. Mar.06 - PhysicsBowl 2003 problems Mar.07 - finish up Cavendish analysis; prepare for a report. Vectors, cont'd. Mar.08 - midterm evals; planning a magic show. Mar.09 - no PEP Week 7. Spring Break Week 8. Momentum Mar.19 - in-class note-taking, momentum Mar.20 - Physics Bowl 2004; how to write a lab report Mar.21 - cannonballs inside a rail car, center-of-mass Mar.22 - conservation of momentum; frog problem, in the board reference frame Mar.23 - gas tube demo: sound is a pressure wave; 1 octave = 12 equal steps in frequency Week 9. Physics of music Mar.26 - frog problem, in the Earth reference frame; travelling and standing waves; "name that note" Mar.27 - scales, ratios, compromises: musical temperaments, mathematical cochlea Mar.28 - Pythagorean, just, well, and equal temperaments (a Physica macro; ref: Music: A mathematical offering, an on-line textbook); seeing electrons in a Bainbridge tube Mar.29 - making musical instruments: a PVC trombone and flute Mar.30 - minstrel songs on guitars; tuning a didgeridoo; measuring temperature with sound Week 10. Apr.02 - review of the physics of music; preparation for final presentations Apr.03 - ice cube sliding off a globe; intro Fourier transforms Apr.04 - playing with liquid Nitrogen Apr.05 - superconductivity, Meissner effect, magnetic levitation Apr.06 - Easter Friday, no PEP Week 11. Apr.08 - Easter Monday, no PEP Apr.09 - density and specific heat measurements Apr.10 - gnuplot; recursion Apr.11 - Apr.12 -