AAPT_WM14program_final - page 57

January 4–7, 2014
Monday morning
common and accessible sugar glass also known as hard candy. Experi-
ments are all low-cost and inter-related and include: synthesis, phase
diagram, refractive index measurement, crystallization phenomena,
and a fiber drawing tower, as well as differential thermal analysis and
electrical conductivity apparatus. Most of the experiments can be
assembled in a high school or college lab with minimal cost. The sci-
entific content of these experiments progresses systematically, provid-
ing an environment to develop an understanding of glassy materials
within a framework of active prolonged engagement.
PST1B09: 8-8:45 a.m. Measuring Fluorescence and
Absorption in Caramelized Sugar Glass
Poster – William R. Heffner, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA 18015;
Donald Wright III, Oakwood University
While using home-molded optical elements made from candy glass
(hard candy) and a green laser, we also observed a distinct, lower
wavelength emission form the candy. We present here our apparatus
and results for measuring the fluorescence and absorption observed
in the sugar glass (hard candy) using the student grade Ocean Optics
Red Tide Spectrometer. The fluorescence was found to span between
about 470 nm and 650 nm and the emission demonstrated a marked
drop in intensity for LED excitation below green. Absorption was
measured with the Red Tide and with a commercial spectrometer for
comparison. Both fluorescence and absorption increased significantly
with further cooking (caramelization). Literature suggests that the
fluorescence and absorption can be attributed to the formation of
carbon nanoparticles. We propose that our Red Tide Spectrometer
based experiment would be an interesting and appropriate one for an
undergraduate lab in physics, chemistry or material science.
PST1B10: 8:45-9:30 a.m. Colorado Learning about
Science Survey for Experimental Physics
Poster – Heather Lewandowski, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO
Ben Zwickl, Rochester Institute of Technology
Takako Hirokawa, Noah Finkelstein, University of Colorado
The Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey for Experi-
mental Physics (E-CLASS) is a short multiple-choice survey that
assesses students’ attitudes about conducting physics experiments in
an instructional setting and in professional research. The survey is
given at the beginning and at the end of a course, whereupon students
are also asked about what helped to earn a good grade in the course.
A variety of aspects of experimentation are explored, including
students’ sense-making, affect, self-confidence, and the value of col-
laboration. Over 4000 E-CLASS responses have been gathered from
over 30 courses at 17 colleges and universities. We will present a broad
overview of our findings, including which student views are the least
expert-like, which views shift most over the course of a semester, and
which have largest differences between introductory and upper-
division courses.
PST1B11: 8:45-9:30 a.m. Some Characteristics of Wetland
Water through Open Source Spectrometry
Poster – John J. Zafra,* Gimnasio La Montaña, Bogotá, 09002 Colom-
Fabian Martinez, Mauricio Mendivelso-Villaquiran, Gimnasio La Mon-
Using the low-cost spectrometer proposal carried out by publiclabo-
ratory.org team and free video and photography analysis software,
we have developed an initial physical-chemical characterization of
the water of the Torca wetland in chemistry and physics high school
classroom and we identified the presence of some contaminants. Our
purpose is to determine the environmental impact that such contami-
nants have in this ecosystem.
Sponsored by Fabian Martinez
PST1B12: 8:45-9:30 a.m. Mechanical NMR 2.0
Poster – Mark F. Masters, IPFW, Fort Wayne, IN 46805;
Jacob Millspaw, IPFW
An updated version of the mechanical analog of NMR utilizing
Cypress PSoC to drive the perturbing magnetic field. This magnetic
field is either a fixed frequency sinusoid, a swept sinusoid, or a pulsed
PST1B13: 8-8:45 a.m. How Weight Influences Lift
Poster – Jeff A. Mays,* Issaquah High School, Issaquah, WA 98027-
Every time an aircraft, whether a private Cessna or a multimillion-
dollar jumbo jet, takes off, weight is always an important key variable.
The amount of weight an airplane can hold is limited. In my experi-
ment, I will be testing on how different increments of weight affect the
lift of a particular plane. This test involves showing the problems that
every day engineers face when building and testing aircraft. I will test
this experiment by using an R/C airplane and different masses placed
at the center of gravity to determine the distance required to take off.
What is the mathematical relationship between take-off distance and
Sponsored by Thomas Haff
PST1B14: 8:45-9:30 a.m. Integrating Robotic Observatories
into Introductory Astronomy Labs
Poster – Gerald T. Ruch, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN 55105;
The University of St. Thomas (UST) and a consortium of five lo-
cal schools are using the UST Robotic Observatory, housing a 17’
telescope, to develop labs and image processing tools that allow easy
integration of observational labs into existing introductory astronomy
curriculum. Our lab design removes the burden of equipment
ownership by sharing access to a common resource and removes the
burden of data processing by automating processing tasks that are
not relevant to the learning objectives. Each laboratory exercise takes
place over two lab periods. During period one, students design and
submit observation requests via the lab website. Between periods, the
telescope automatically acquires the data and our image processing
pipeline produces data ready for student analysis. During period two,
the students retrieve their data from the website and perform the
analysis. The first lab, “Weighing Jupiter,” was successfully implement-
ed at UST and several of our partner schools.
PST1B15: 8-8:45 a.m. What Can You Do with PSoC?
Poster – Jacob Millspaw, IPFW, Fort Wayne, IN 46805;
Mark F. Masters, IPFW
If you had a single device that could do reconfigurable active analog
circuitry, reconfigurable digital circuitry, on the fly pulse width modu-
lation, capacitive sensing, reconfigurable pin out, analog to digital
conversion, digital to analog conversion, what would you do? What
could you build?
PST1B16: 8:45-9:30 a.m. MOOCs in the Physics Lab?
Reports from the Front
Poster – Sean P. Robinson, MIT, Cambridge, MA 02139-4307;
Gunther Roland, Charles I. Bosse, Christopher Sarabalis, MIT
We report on progress, challenges, and lessons learned in the first se-
mester (fall 2013) of using the edX software platform—principally tar-
geted at delivering so-called massive open online courses (MOOCs)
--- to deliver parts of a residential physics advanced lab course at
MIT which is neither massive, open, nor predominantly online. The
MOOC tools were used to enable “flipped classroom” methods for
teaching data analysis and basic equipment usage: content delivery
was shifted to online preparatory exercises and video lectures, free-
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