Sunday, November 25, 2007

Here is an email I received yesterday:

This is to let you know that once again I assigned a library report based on The Flying Circus of Physics for my PHYS 1090 class at the University of Wyoming. (The title of the class is “Fundamentals of the Physical Universe”; the class is physics and chemistry for elementary education majors.) The students each chose a question from your book, developed references, and reported on the question and its answer both as a web page and an oral presentation to the class. You weren’t around to see the oral presentations, but you can see the reports at . Thanks again for writing the book. It’s a great resource.
The reports are listed here alphabetically by the authors’ last names. Click on any title to open the report.
· Tara Anson: Singing wine glasses
· Kaleyne Belrose: Fat-free pizza cheese
· Ronny Brian: What keeps a kite aloft?
· Sarah Burns: Igloos
· Lindsey Fertig: Is that your cereal talking?
· Heidi Galagan: Speed of sound and temperature
· Rebecca Gonzales: Drinking hot coffee, eating hot pizza
· Crystle Gottula: Red lunar eclipses
· Codi Guthrie: Bull riding
· Ashley Henry: How ducks stay dry
· Jennifer Jang: Mountain Clouds
· Vivienne Larimore: Do cats have nine lives?
· Rebecca Lauffenburger: The unreturnable Z-shot
· Katherine Mattison: Walk or run in the rain?
· Kathy McConkie: Surviving a crashing elevator
· Sara McIntosh: Surfing
· Jon Miller: Howling of the Wind
· Colton Parish: Groaning pipes
· Jessica Patrick: Snoring
· Emily Pulley-Hamilton: Hollow polar bear hairs
· Amanda Reimer: How rainbows form
· Michelle Ross: Singing in the shower
· Jennifer Sharp: Enlarging the moon
· Sara Simpson: Sparking Wint-O-Green LifeSavers
· Emily Sorensen: Packing M&M’s
· Jessica Sparks: Cracking your knuckles
· Sami Swing: Snowflakes
· Mykah Trujillo: Silence after snowfall
· Jill Wiebers: High-altitude baking
· Courtney Young: Sand pyramids
Best regards,
Richard Barrans, Ph.D., M.Ed. Assistant Lecturer Department of Physics and Astronomy University of Wyoming

Thanks, Dr. Barrans.
I really enjoyed reading each web page and picked up a number of interesting ideas that will eventually show up on the Flying Circus of Physics website. For example, Kaleyne Belrose talks about the physics of the special pans used in microwaving a pizza; I did not know about that physics.
Ronny Brian has lots of links to the physics of kites that I did not know about, such as the one to NASA. Lindsey Fertig has some good links to the question of why Rice Krispies go "snap, crackle, and pop" when milk is added to them. (That will be a topic on the FCP website soon.) Codi Guthrie has some points about the physics of bull riding that had escaped me when I wrote the FCP book. (Codi, is that your brother in the photo?)
Kathy McConkie has a really cool figure about what to do if you find yourself in a freely falling elevator. And Mykah Trujillo has some links (brand new to me) about the silence after a snowfall.
I enjoyed all the essays and wish I could have been there for the oral presentations.
-- Jearl Walker