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Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Bermuda Triangle of Triangle Problems

Here is a good puzzler: How many triangles can you get from this picture?  Something like 93% get it wrong! Have fun...

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Gravitational energy the Right Way

Check out this video in class.  Take notes on it, and you will need it for the exercise that follows for a rocket launch to the moon.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Example of Excel Solver

Ms. Fitzpatrick has led us through an example of using Excel Solver to do optimization problems, and a set of instructions for this can be found here.  Note that I have a folder with a number of helpful resources for our open-ended project (the bus problem), as well as contests like COMAP and Moody's, in Shared Documents on my school website.

Here is another example via video on how to use Solver, in case it is helpful.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Nobel Prizes 2013

The Nobel Prizes for 2013 are being announced this week.  First up, two Americans and a German share the prize for medicine and physiology, for their work in understanding the transport system in cells.  Check out the press release from the Nobel committee.

The Nobel for physics is not much of a surprise, with Peter Higgs (UK) and Francois Englert (Belgium) winning for their work on symmetry breaking and the Higgs field/boson that was confirmed at CERN over the past year. Check out the press release from the Nobel committee.  This one is especially cool for me since many former colleagues and friends from Fermilab, and two former students, are on the experiments that discovered the Higgs boson!!

The Nobel for chemistry was given to Martin Karplus (Harvard), Michael Levitt (Stanford), and Arieh Warshel (UCLA) for their work in developing computer simulations of chemical reactions.  These powerful simulations allow scientists to not just see what the end products are, but also predict and understand at timy time steps what actually happens during chemical reactions.  This work includes both Newton's laws as well as quantum mechanics.  Check out the press release.

The Nobel Peace Prize for 2013 was given to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. Most recently, this group is going to play a key role in Syria, as the U.S. is leading he charge to eliminate chemical weapons from their weapons stockpiles. See the press release from the Nobel committee.