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Monday, June 18, 2018

Good motivation for real applications of elastic/spring behaviors: Small organisms

So, it is the right question to ask when we cover something like springs in class: Why should we care? Besides being able to solve some physics problems, what's the point?

A cool application has to do with the size of organisms. Small critters like insects are too small to have muscles the way we do. Instead, they've evolved effectively springs in their legs, which are more linear than muscles, which are multidimensional and, therefore, take up too much space for their body to fit or support. Awesome!

Keep in mind that biomechanical studies are something we can try to do in our research center!

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Congratulations Class of 2018!!

This weekend we will see the final event for the Class of 2018, as they walk the stage and get their well-deserved diplomas! I am proud of you, a job well done, and enjoy the summer before starting the net phase of life. Try to make the world just a bit better, follow your interests and passions, and enjoy the ride!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Maxwell's equations: Summary of EM, EM waves

For a summary of E&M, check out Maxwell's equations in this classic Mechanical Universe video. The key piece to Maxwell connecting all the dots to create a singular theory of electromagnetism was his displacement current, which really explains how a capacitor circuit can work. Check out a video specifically on the 'displacement current.'

Monday, May 7, 2018

Coding Instructions for Robot Activity

Check out the Google Slides Presentation for our robot activity! You will need an App on your phone to code and control the robot, and the links are:

Android -
iPhone -

If possible, please try to do this tonight, and Wednesday we will have a chance to apply these to the actual robots!!

Some examples of the potential of robots in our lives is the TED talk below; go here for examples and thoughts about present-day Artificial Intelligence:

Thursday, April 19, 2018

The Green Team has a number of events during Earth Week, April 21-27

Check out the Green Team's schedule for Earth Week, April 21-27! If you can, please participate and have fun with it! Thanks!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Dramatic visual evidence for climate change - glaciers

Check out this TED talk by James Balog, a photographer who spent some three years producing time lapse movies of what some glaciers are doing as temperatures rise...amazing work! On Netflix, you can watch a documentary about how he did this, called Chasing Ice.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Sir Michael Berry to visit with ETHS students and faculty April 10

A rare opportunity exists for ETHS students and faculty next Tuesday, April 10, at Northwestern.  The Physics and Astronomy Department is hosting Sir Michael Berry, a world-renown physicist who dabbles in a wide array of topics, and has made a number of big theoretical and mathematical discoveries in his career (must have done something cool to be knighted!). He is giving public talks every day next week, and you can see the schedule.

Tuesday, the department confirmed that from 4:15 – 5:15 pm, in room F160, any ETHS student or teacher is welcome to meet privately with the professor. Refreshments will be served by NU, and you can have a chance to meet one of the ‘big shots’ of science and ask him anything you might be curious about, including his views on where STEM fields are headed and what the big mysteries are for your generation to tackle! He has received numerous international awards for his work, which is largely in quantum phenomena and optics, and has some 400 publications. Again, this doesn’t happen every day, so please consider going to this if interested.

Room F160 is on the first floor of Technological Institute (main science and engineering building), the huge whitish building on Sheridan Road near the Noyes Street stoplight and just south of the tennis courts. One can park in the lot across the street, or any other lot, after 4 pm without a permit, and there should be some street parking by that time. As you walk toward the U-shaped building, go into the entrance on your right, which goes directly into the F-wing and Physics Department. Just walk straight as you enter and F160 is down that hallway, so should be very easy to get to. Please let Doc V know if you have any questions. Thanks!