Tags

, ,

After the moderately positive experience of Chem Camp, we decided to do a somewhat more abbreviated home Physics Camp, with Leo’s same friend, Connor in the two days before school started this week.

This didn’t go nearly as well as Chem Camp, mostly, I think, because Leo and Connor were significantly more distracted by one another, and so much less on task, mostly spinning off into MineCraft micro-conversations. (For some reason that I just don’t get at all, Minecrafters, and esp. Leo, are fascinated by the version history of MineCraft — what features/bugs got added/fixed in each version. Leo watches videos about this all the time, and for some reason loves bringing up old versions and re-living the bugs. Speaking as someone who spends a very large amount of my time squashing bugs in complex programs, intentionally reliving old bugs is about the farthest thing from fun that I can think of, short of self-inflicted physical pain! This said, Leo has learned a great deal about common causes of bugs from this fascination, esp. regarding floating point arithmetic problems.)

So, Physics camp included these topics:

  • Gyroscopic phenomena (via this terrific gyroscope kit)
  • Sound waves (via an electronic keyboard and oscilloscopic iPad app)
  • Minimal bubble surfaces (using shapes created with zoomtool; pic below)
  • Energy transfer (via Rube Goldberg Machines)
  • Dynamics (via normal and chaotic [double] pendula; pic below)
  • Optics (via lasers and lenses)
  • Work and Mechanical Advantage (via complex pulley arrangements)
  • Magnetic fields (via strong microwave oven magnets; pic below)
  • Electricity and magnetism (moving magnets creating current and v.v.)

I regret that I didn’t get to much formal computations, and also that I didn’t take as many pictures as I should have, but here are a few:

Building, and then running, the chaotic pendulum:

A great “hypercube” minimal bubble in a cube:

IMG_1692

Best invention of the week was microwave magnets on a PVC pipe separated by electrical tape:

IMG_1751

(Trying to demonstrate the Left Hand Rule for electromagnetism on our high power magnet apparatus.)

The tape and pipe keep the magnets from snapping together and breaking, or pinching fingers!