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Program for the Spring 2009 meeting


Saturday, 2 May 2009
CSU Channel Islands

Meeting Rooms: Broome Library (BRO 1350,1360,1756)

Local Host: Geoff Dougherty

Contribute a 15 minute talk or a brief demo for the Show'n Tell segment using the online submission form or communicate directly with the program chair, Geoff Dougherty. The deadline for contributions for this meeting is Friday, 17 April.

There are several venues on campus at which you may choose to have lunch. See the CSUCI Dining Services web page. Choices include Mexican, Italian, hamburgers, deli sandwiches, and sushi.

Nothing! That's right, $0. Meetings of the SCAAPT are free to all. We do hope that you will begin or maintain your SCAAPT membership at the ridiculously low cost of $10/yr. Members get first priority for presenting at meetings and attending workshops and only members have the right to vote and to win great door prizes.

Online maps and directions

Follow signs to parking lots A2 and A6 for free parking.


Vernier Software & Technology
John Wiley & Sons
McGraw-Hill Science

Please take some time to check out the commercial workshops and exhibits at the meeting and especially to thank the representatives for their support of our organization.

"How long would it take a properly-applied net force equal to your hardest push to stop the continental drift of the North American plate?"
The SCAAPT member giving the median answer is the winner and gets first pick of the door prizes.

Program Schedule  
8:15 AM
Registration, Refreshments, Exhibits
Outside of room 1360
8:30 AM

Workshop (Room 1756): "Get Updated with Vernier"
Clarence Bakken, Vernier Software & Technology

Find out what's new for 2009 plus review offerings from Vernier Software & Technology for physics teachers. If you've been wondering about LabQuest, the Dynamics System, WDSS, etc., join Vernier consultant Clarence Bakken to get the current scoop. Whether you use calculators, computers or LabQuest, Clarence will go through the steps to bring your school site up to date and share the resources that Vernier has to help you with your labs and demonstrations.

8:30 AM

Workshop (Room 1330): "The Sound of Music–Teaching the Physics of Sound and Musical Instruments"
Jerry Clifford, CSU Channel Islands

The Physics of Music is an interdisciplinary course at CSUCI that explores sound and music using an interesting, non-threatening (!), hands-on approach that doesn't shirk the science. Students construct simple instruments, including a PVC flute, a metal chime, and a straw trombone. They measure the speed of sound, experiment with resonating cavities, and use frequency-analysis software to visualize the underlying math and science. Term projects allow each student to examine an instrument of their choice in an imaginative presentation. And guest professional musicians demonstrate their instruments in class.

10:00 AM

Welcome and announcements
10:15 AM

Contributed Talk: "Example harmonic and anharmonic oscillators demonstrated"
Bernard Cleyet
UC Santa Cruz, retired

Commercially available teaching apparatus is easily modified to show the behavior of a spring oscillator and a magnetic hardening oscillator.   The apparatuses will be demonstrated with position (time) data collected and graphed.

10:30 AM

Contributed Talk: "Physics of Music Online at CSUN"
David R. Bach and Henning Ottsen
CSU Northridge

This online course has been taught at CSUN for 8 semesters and has been taken by close to a thousand students. We have used WebCT and have been using Elluminate for a one hour lecture per week for the last four semesters. The course is a required course for Music Education majors at CSUN. Any students can take the course as a science elective. We use a simple synthesis program to show how complex sound waves are constructed from sine waves. We then analyze many different types of sound (and music) to show how the Fourier analysis demonstrates the components of the sound. The students do this at home with their own computers.

10:45 AM

Contributed Talk: "Where are my lot lines? Precedent and Intention in land survey"
Donald Krotser
CSU Northridge

In measuring the tilt of the earth's axis I noticed that my lot was not square with the world. The title plat was different from the tract survey, and walls and fences didn't agree with each other. Research led me to better understanding of land survey history, and acquisition of tools and experience enabled me to successively approximate measurement of my lot in context of the historic sequence and intention of the professional surveyors before me.

11:00 AM

Invited Talk: "Viewing the Universe at Very High Energies"
Rene A. Ong
University of California, Los Angeles

The field of very high energy astrophysics has developed rapidly during the last few years as a result of new instruments and exciting discoveries. Ground-based telescopes, such as VERITAS in southern Arizona, have made great progress in understanding processes in the cosmos that produce tera-electronVolt (TeV) particles. This talk will introduce the science of the very energetic universe and the techniques that are being used to open a new window of viewing the sky.

12:00 PM

Business Meeting

12:30 PM


1:30 PM

Invited Talk: "Do-it-Yourself Electronics Laboratory"
Brian Rasnow
CSU Channel Islands

Teaching laboratory electronics in a general physics laboratory classroom requires hauling hundreds of pounds of apparatus from stockroom to lab bench and back each day. Some students see the equipment as "magical mystery boxes" that must be connected in just the right way to function properly. Such abstraction can be an impediment to learning electronic principles. CSUCI is exploring an alternative, where the students design and build a very compact and simple "open" electronics workbench with adjustable DC power supplies, a versatile function generator, an audio amplifier, and a solderless breadboard. They construct all of this on a small perforated circuit board for ~$25. Along with a digital multimeter (~$10), they are able to build, troubleshoot, and study a wide variety of circuits without an oscilloscope or other apparatus. Dr. Rasnow will present the results and lessons learned from this experimental curriculum.

2:30 PM

Contributed Talk: "Engineering Innovation: A summer program for high school students"
Jerry Clifford
CSU Channel Islands

CSUCI, in partnership with Johns Hopkins University, runs a four-week summer program Engineering Innovation for high school students.   The course is a hands-on introduction to engineering and technology.   Unlike most science courses which have clearly defined problems with unique solutions, this program's goal is to have students solve multi-dimensional problems with multiple solutions—some of which are better than others.   In the process, students gain technical confidence and the ability to attack new situations.

2:45 PM

Contributed Talk: "Measurement of Plasma Parameters in the LAPTAG Plasma Device"
Joe Wise,
New Roads School
; Roland Hwang, Max Praglin, Ali Lodge, Rachel Biniaz, Jason Novak; Bob Baker, University High School; Walter Gekelman, UCLA

The Los Angeles Physics Teachers Alliance Group has built a new plasma device at UCLA and has been studying the characteristics of a low temperature, magnetized, Argon plasma. High school students, using a Langmuir probe, measured the probe characteristic Current-Voltage trace at hundreds of spatial positions. From this they were able to determine the plasma density, plasma potential, and electron temperature as a function of time after the plasma discharge was terminated. The force (Pressure gradient) and electric field were then derived from this data. The data indicate that the edge of the plasma must be spinning.

3:00 PM

Contributed Talk: "Measurement of Edge Plasma Rotation"
Joe Wise,
New Roads School; Amy Lee, Gabriela Rosales, Robin Wong; Bob Baker, University High School; Walter Gekelman, UCLA

The electrical potential of a plasma is different from that of the walls of the vessel it is confined in. The potential is a consequence of preferential loss of electrons rather than ions (which are less mobile). The plasma potential at the center of a magnetized plasma column is different from that at the edge.   In fact the plasma potential is constant in the main body of the plasma and its gradient is large at the edge. The plasma drift velocity when an electric field is present is vD = (E X B)/B^2 , where B is the confining magnetic field. The LAPTAG Students built a "Mach" probe which measures the plasma drift velocity as a function of radial position. This is compared to VD derived from potential measurements.

3:15 PM

"Show'n Tell"

James Lincoln: "The 3rd kinematic equation"
Tim Heumier: "The Steam Fountain: Low-pressure boiling without a pump"
Ralph F. Wuerker
: "Superconducting Levitating Train"
David Chandler: "Newton's Cradle with Energy Absorption"
Fred Carrington: "Surgical Tube French Horn"
Jeff Phillips: "Livescribe Digital Pen"

3:45 PM

Contributed Talk: "Living And Teaching With A GEMe2 Electric Car"
Ralph F. Wuerker
UCLA Physics Department, retired

The author has a 2007 street legal Chrysler GEMe2 electric car: 25 MPH max, >25 miles range, with 6 series connected 12 Volt-97Ah lead acid gel cells (total of 7.2 kWh or 26 MJ storage,) driving a 5HP shunt wound motor at a transportation cost of ~$0.05/mile when home electricity costs $0.15/kWh.   Total usage is now 1250 miles. Maintenance is minimal. The author also has a 4 cylinder 1996 BMW: 138 HP gasoline engine and automatic transmission. Fuel cost is $0.30/mi at $3.50 per gallon in the city. The history and different electric cars will be reviewed along with battery and electric energy storage problems.

4:00 PM

Contributed Talk: "Video Frame Analysis of 9/11 Building Collapses"
David Chandler
Eleanor Roosevelt Community Learning Center

Video analysis software such has been used to analyze publicly available video footage of the collapses of the three buildings in the World Trade Center. Some results: Massive chunks were ejected horizontally from WTC1 at over 70 mi/hr, WTC7 fell AT freefall for several seconds, and the falling upper section of WTC1 exerted a force less than its own weight on the lower section of the building. The freefall analysis of WTC7 prompted NIST to alter its own analysis in the final draft of its report, issued in November, 2008.

4:15 PM
The World Famous "Order of Magnitude Contest" and Door Prizes
4:30 PM
Meeting Adjourns

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