The Physics Teacher October 2019


The Physics Teacher

Volume 57 Issue 7, October 2019


Body Composition Analysis: The Physics of Measuring What We Are Made Of

This month's cover image beautifully captures the dynamic tension needed for a “fast spin.” Grace Louise Sherman’s “Circus Act” was among the top 100 entries in the AAPT High School Physics Photo Contest; Grace is a student of Emily Habbert at Evanston Township High School, Evanston, IL. See the articles "Body Composition Analysis: The Physics of Measuring What We Are Made Of," "Student Bench Press Power – A STEM Project for the Gym", and "A tennis ball accelerometer model" for other ways to bring physics into gym class.




Letters to the Editor

Comment on “A variable-mass snowball rolling down a snowy slope” by Kirk T. McDonald. DOI: 10.1119/1.5126814.

Analytic solution for a variable-mass snowball by Carl E. Mungan. DOI: 10.1119/1.5126815.

This cat has nine lives? by Joan Lubben. DOI: 10.1119/1.5126816.


And the Survey Says..., Astronotes, Figuring Physics, iPhysicsLabs, Physics Challenge for Teachers and Students, Fermi Questions, Little Gems, Talkin' Physics, Technology in the Classroom,  and  Websights.


Rocket Propulsion, Classical Relativity, and the Oberth Effect by Philip Rodriguez Blanco and Carl E. Mungan. DOI: 10.1119/1.5126818.

Robert A. Millikan and the Oil Drop Experiment by Isabel Bishop, Siyu Xian and Steve Feller. DOI: 10.1119/1.5126819.

Body Composition Analysis: The Physics of Measuring What We Are Made Of by Elliot Mylott, Elynne Kutschera and Ralf Widenhorn. DOI: 10.1119/1.5126820.

Student Bench Press Power – A STEM Project for the Gym by David Miles Headly and Howard Willard. DOI: 10.1119/1.5126821.

Entropy as Disorder: History of a Misconception by Dan Styer. DOI: 10.1119/1.5126822.

Stick With It! Helping Students Understand Free-Body Diagrams – A Magnet Activity as a Tool for Understanding by William Lo and Robert J. Beichner. DOI: 10.1119/1.5126823.

Modeling Energy Dynamics with the Energy-Interaction Diagram by Benedikt Harrer and Cassandra Paul. DOI: 10.1119/1.5126824.

A Tool to Study Fractals in an Interdisciplinary Perspective by P. V. S. Souza, R. L. Alves and W. F. Balthazar. DOI: 10.1119/1.5126825.

Solving Some “Calculus-Based” Physics Problems with Trigonometry by Dave Baum. DOI: 10.1119/1.5126826.

Time Scale for Velocity to Track a Force by Chris L. Lin. DOI: 10.1119/1.5126827.

Using Symmetry and Invariance to Solve Problems in Elementary Physics by Marc Frodyma and Sandy Rosas. DOI: 10.1119/1.5126828.

Uniform Circular Motion of a Spaceship and Its Relation to Free Fall by Adel Alameh. DOI: 10.1119/1.5126829.

Discovering Quantities of Circular Motion of a Light-Emitting Toy Train Using a Smartphone Light Sensor by Serkan Kapucu. DOI: 10.1119/1.5126830.

A Pictorial Explanation of Stellar Aberration by Carl E. Mungan. DOI: 10.1119/1.5126831.

Two-Dimensional Collisions and Conservation of Momentum by Lior M. Burko. DOI: 10.1119/1.5126832.

Damped Oscillations with a Smart Cart by Asif Shakur and Jeffrey Emmert. DOI: 10.1119/1.5126833.

The Coming Revolution in Physics Education by William Flannery. DOI: 10.1119/1.5126834.

Demonstration for Additive Colors by Defocus Blur by Wenqing Sun and Jun Wang. DOI: 10.1119/1.5126836.


Additional Resources


Race and Physics Teaching Collection Resource

DNA Science TPT Element

DNA Science Lesson & Digi-Kit

Inspired by an article from The Physics Teacher, this multidisciplinary lesson and digital resource collection is based on How Rosalind Franklin Discovered the Helical Structure of DNA: Experiments in Diffraction (Braun, Tierney, & Schmitzer, 2011). Click the image to access this resource.