Field trip - August 2010

We had about 30 first-grader students visiting our lab; pictures taken by Eric Weeks.

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Playing outside with pans of corn starch and water. Assisted by Gary Hunter (dark blue shirt) and Daniel Real (light blue shirt).

Large magnifying glass.

Granular physics experiment. Assisted by Nabiha Saklayen, David Kilgore, and Pearl Young (wearing white lab coats in the first picture). The experiment is the classic "Brazil nut" experiment. There are several plastic beakers full of sand, and we'd bury a plastic ball in one and shake it and watch the ball rise to the top. We then showed the students a stainless steel ball and asked them to predict what would happen. When this ball is buried and the containers shaken, once again it rises to the top! It's not buoyancy, but rather, that as the container shakes up and down, the smaller grains fall underneath the larger ball, whereas the large ball can't fall into the spaces between the grains. (In one picture you can see the students raising their hands to give their predictions.)

High speed camera experiment. Assisted by James Sebel, Justin Pye, Gopal Subedi, and Ken Desmond (first four pictures, Ken is wearing a gray shirt and the others are wearing white lab coats). In the last picture, on the right side, you can see someone's hand using a hammer to smash an orange ping-pong ball; something similar is happening in the second picture. In the first picture, James is helping a student pose in front of the camera, so that they can make a spitting sound with their lips and watch how their lips flap open and shut in the high speed video. Gopal is showing the students the finished videos on a computer.

Looking at Brownian motion. Assisted by Laura Golick Gray (standing in first picture), Dandan Chen (2nd picture), and Xia Hong (in white lab coat in background of 3rd picture).

For more information, contact Eric Weeks.