TAG SEP Year N: This HAS an Explanation

This class (ThaE) has never gone to any lab during class to browse through the WWW, nor do I think that it ever will. But I decided that, because I have received certain questions again and again since teaching this class for the first time in 1996, I would post a few resources here.

I do not have much here yet. I will expand it as time allows.

Black Holes

Someone asks me about black holes every year, in every session. For the moment, I recommend that you go to my Spacetime for Campers class page and scroll down until you see the phrase 'black hole.'

Infrared (IR) cameras and transmitters

Infrared radiation is simply that radiation from the electromagnetic spectrum whose frequencies are a bit lower (and wavelengths a bit longer) than those of visible light. Infrared laser beams are thus invisible, and infrared cameras can show us bodies emitting heat on wavelengths that we cannot normally see. They do this by translating the IR waves into colors we can see, producing some amazing pictures. Can you guess what is shown in this infrared camera picture?

"How do the wings of an airplane lift the airplane?"

Well, the full picture is a bit complicated. But you can get an excellent start by going to this NASA page. If the text is hard to understand, click on all the links and look at all the pictures (like this one about airplane wing shape or this one about ailerons). Or, more can be found by getting and reading this wonderful book, now in a new edition.

"I want more imaginative classes after TAG SEP!"

I have had students say to me that one of the things that they like about TAG SEP camp is that, unlike some of their teachers back at their schools who "stick totally to the book" or "aren't very familliar with the subject" or something similar, we at camp stimulate their imaginations. Well, if that is really true, I am always glad that we could add spice to learning. But it does not have to end with SEP. More very provocative ideas are out there. A small example: this class at Dartmouth College looks like it could really start one's creative juices flowing . . . or really turn one's brain to tofu.

"I'll never understand all this/I'll never be any good at it!"

Do not be so sure. You will not understand all of science all at once, certainly. But you never know who will end up being a good scientist. Some very good people start late in life. Consider the case of Polly Matzinger, former waitress.

Coming later . . .

Read all you can. But I warn you: there is always more to know. Questions answered lead in turn to harder questions, often more of them. "The larger the island of knowledge, the longer the shoreline of wonder."

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(Last updated 7/18/99)