1. Articles from 'The Physics Teacher'
In these COVID times, 'The Physics Teacher' is providing access to selected articles without the need to subscribe, but only for a short time. The latest articles are:
2. Perimeter Institute: two new resources - Exploring Light with Optics and Beyond the Atom
Exploring Light with Optics
3. Resource from AAPT: New edition of their Quantum Physics Physlets
Investigate reflection, refraction, and lenses through mini-activities, then explore human vision, telescopes, optics equations, fibre optics, and lasers through deeper activities – including a design challenge to build a laser maze. A short video examines the electromagnetic spectrum and telescopes.
The inquiry-based activities have a focus on Years 7 - 10 levels. With some easy adaptations, teachers can broaden the reach of activities to include higher or lower year levels.
Beyond the Atom: Remodelling Particle Physics, Second Edition
Activities focus on Rutherford’s scattering experiment, patterns within the particle zoo, and the analysis of bubble chamber images. Students also investigate data and determine the mass of the Higgs boson; they delve into evidence for antimatter and visualise interactions between fundamental particles. Cutting-edge physics topics include neutrinos, the SNO detector, tetraquarks, pentaquarks, and the LHC.
Using a combination of animations and interviews with particle physicists, this classroom resource also includes a 30-minute video, which covers the development of the Standard Model.
The Second Edition offers an expanded teacher background information and two new lessons that will have students discovering the mass of the Higgs Boson and exploring why antimatter really does matter. They have updated the video and posted it to YouTube .
The Physlets are Physics Applets that simulate a situation and require the student or teacher to interact with the simulation.
The sections relevant to VCE Physics are:
a) Space and Time in Special Relativity
b) Need for a Quantum Theory - i) From Black Body to Bohr and ii) Wave-Particle Duality
4. COP26: Climate change resources
5. Vicphysics matters
- COP26 Schools Pack: Resources and Case Studies
- TakingITGlobal is primarily a youth focused website, but there is a section for educators with an extensive range of curriculum resources across all areas. There were about 20 files under 'Physics' mainly for Years 9 & 10.
- Twinkl resources
- Subscriptions: The free introductory offer has lapsed. To now access the Teachers resources section of the website a paid subscription is required. Details are at the bottom of the home page.
- Tutor Listing Service: The website has a Tutor Listing Service. There are now three tutors listed. If you tutor and wish to add your name to the list, please check the website.
6.Seeking a Physics teacher? Seeking a new position?
The Vicphysics Teachers' Network has a Job Ads page to assist schools in finding a physics teacher.
There are twelve (12) schools seeking a physics teacher:
The webpage is updated every weekend. The webpage also has a link on how schools can register a position and lodge a payment for this service.
- Woodmans Hill Secondary College (closes 24th October)
- Rochester Secondary College (closes 24th October)
- Brunswick Secondary College (closes 24th October)
- Manor Lakes P-12 College (closes 25th October) (3 positions)
- Horsham College (closes 26th October)
- Daylesford Secondary College (closes 26th October)
- East Doncaster Secondary College (closes 1st November)
- Cranbourne East Secondary College (closes 2nd November)
- Westernport Secondary College (closes 2nd November)
- Seymour College (closes 4th November)
- Mildura Senior College (closes 11th November)
7. Events for Teachers
a) The Physics Teachers’ Conference: Keynote announced and Last Call for Presenters.
The Physics Teachers’ Conference in 2022 jointly organised by STAV and Vicphysics, will take place on Friday 18 February 2022 and, following on from the success of this year's Conference, it will be a virtual conference.
The keynote address is titled 'Innovations in electricity: Is 100% renewable now possible?' and will be presented by Dr Bob Sheehy, formerly of CSIRO and now managing director of Regenersys P/L. Check the Vicphysics website for his abstract and bio.
Call for Presenters: There will be synchronous (live) and asynchronous (pre-recorded) sessions. Teachers are invited to offer a workshop in either format. The live workshops are 45 minutes and the pre-recorded workshops are 20 minutes. Both the principal presenter and any co-presenter will receive complimentary conference registration.
To register a workshop, please click here. The closing date is Thursday, 28th October.
If you have any questions, please email the STAV Administration Officer
8. Physics News from the Web
Items selected from the bulletin of the Institute of Physics (UK).
a) Why nuclear energy must be part of ‘net zero’ climate targets
Henry Preston and Saralyn Thomas from the UK Nuclear Institute's Young Generation Network say that nuclear energy must be part of the conversation during the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow next month.
Each item below includes the introductory paragraphs and a web link to the rest of the article.
According to a poll carried out in 2020 by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), only a quarter of people aged between 18 and 24 in the UK are aware that nuclear is a low-carbon source of energy. Three-quarters of young people, in contrast, believe that wind and solar are low carbon, with only 61% of the eldest-age category polled – 65–74 year olds – knowing that nuclear falls into the low-carbon category too. Those findings might surprise physicists, who will be aware that the energy density of nuclear fission is so high that just a fingertip of uranium has an energy equivalent of 5000 barrels of oil.
There is also a podcast of an interview with them.
b) Proton arc therapy: do we need it; can we deliver it?
Radiotherapy plays an essential role in the management of cancer, with roughly half of all cancer patients receiving radiation as part of their treatment. The majority of such treatments are delivered using external beams of X-rays, targeted at the tumour to damage or kill cancerous cells. Another approach is particle therapy, in which tumours are irradiated with beams of protons or carbon ions. While less prevalent than photon-based radiotherapy, the number of proton-therapy centres worldwide has increased at pace in recent years.
The article has a good summary of radiation therapy techniques.
c) Scanning the cosmos for signs of alien technology
Ever since planets beyond our solar system were first discovered, astronomers have been hunting life beyond our world. While biological signatures are crucial, the idea of scouring the skies for signs of technosignatures from advanced civilizations is gaining momentum.
In 1802 the young German mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss suggested a way to make our presence known to would-be Martians – by clearing a huge area in the Siberian forest, planting it with wheat, and creating a pattern indicative of the Pythagorean theorem. Some 80 years later, astronomer Percival Lowell – founder of the Lowell Observatory at Flagstaff, Arizona, and proponent of the idea that astronomers had spotted canals on Mars – suggested digging our own canals in the Sahara desert. His plan was to fill the canals with oil and set them alight, thereby attracting the attention of residents of the red planet.
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