Conservation of Energy

From NPR Commentator Aaron Freeman:

You want a physicist to speak at your funeral. You want the physicist to talk to your grieving family about the conservation of energy, so they will understand that your energy has not died. You want the physicist to remind your sobbing mother about the first law of thermodynamics; that no energy gets created in the universe, and none is destroyed. You want your mother to know that all your energy, every vibration, every Btu of heat, every wave of every particle that was her beloved child remains with her in this world. You want the physicist to tell your weeping father that amid energies of the cosmos, you gave as good as you got.

And at one point you’d hope that the physicist would step down from the pulpit and walk to your brokenhearted spouse there in the pew and tell him/her that all the photons that ever bounced off your face, all the particles whose paths were interrupted by your smile, by the touch of your hair, hundreds of trillions of particles, have raced off like children, their ways forever changed by you. And as your widow rocks in the arms of a loving family, may the physicist let him/her know that all the photons that bounced from you were gathered in the particle detectors that are her/his eyes, that those photons created within her/him constellations of electromagnetically charged neurons whose energy will go on forever.

And the physicist will remind the congregation of how much of all our energy is given off as heat. There may be a few fanning themselves with their programs as he says it. And he will tell them that the warmth that flowed through you in life is still here, still part of all that we are, even as we who mourn continue the heat of our own lives.

And you’ll want the physicist to explain to those who loved you that they need not have faith; indeed, they should not have faith. Let them know that they can measure, that scientists have measured precisely the conservation of energy and found it accurate, verifiable and consistent across space and time. You can hope your family will examine the evidence and satisfy themselves that the science is sound and that they’ll be comforted to know your energy’s still around. According to the law of the conservation of energy, not a bit of you is gone; you’re just less orderly.



Assessment Calendar

Hi all,

I wanted to organize the grading of your blogs over the coming weeks as we pass the midpoint of the semester and head into the stretch run. This system of assessment only works if students have some regular feedback in order to make any revisions to their work. With fifty-four students to assess, it’s a challenge to give solid feedback to everyone in a timely manner. My solution is to set up a grading calendar, both in order to organize myself and to make the most efficient use of my time.

Beginning the week of October 20th, I will assess blogs from one class per week on a rotating basis. This will allow me to look through every blog twice in a four week period. I will begin by assessing the Minions during the week of 10/20 and follow that up with We Are Groot during the week of 10/27. I will continue this pattern through the end of the semester.

The schedule will work as follows with a list of what I’ll be checking for below:

  • Week of 10/20 – Minions.
  • Week of 10/27 – We are Groot
    • 6 problem sets (6 points), 4 Seminar Reflections (8 points), and 4 Video Reflections plus (4 points)
    • Natural Philosophy Lab Writeup (5 points)
  • Week of 11/3 – Minions
  • Week of 11/10 – We are Groot
    • 8 problem sets (8 points), 5 Seminar Reflections (10 points), and 6 Video Reflections (6 points)
    • Natural Philosophy Lab Writeup (5 points)
    • Systems of Thought Art Piece (5 points)
    • LED Light Project (10 Points)
  • Week of 11/17 – Minions
  • Week of 11/24 – We are Groot
    • 10 problem sets (10 points), 5 Seminar Reflections (10 points), and 8 Video Reflections (8 points)
    • Natural Philosophy Lab Writeup (5 points)
    • Systems of Thought Art Piece (5 points)
    • LED Light Project (10 Points)
  • Week of 12/1 – Minions
  • Week of 12/8 – We are Groot
    • 10 Problem Sets, 5 Seminar Reflections, 10 Video Reflections
    • Natural Philosophy Lab
    • Systems of Thought Art Piece
    • LED Light Project
    • Quadcopter Writeup

I will grade blogs M – Th. I will grade them alphabetically getting through about seven per night until the class is assessed.

Please contact me with any questions.

Laser Cutter Art Piece

After you have your image and text approved for the art piece, you can then begin you illustrator work.¬†Find the laser cutter template in the Student¬†Share folder titled Delgado Physics. This folder is also where you save your finished file in the appropriate class folder. Your illustrator file should simply be titled with your last name. Follow the instructions on the template for creating an 8.5″ x 8.5″ square that your art piece will fit within.

For information on modifying images to be laser cut go to the following tutorial. You need to create