From the subatomic to galactic scales! Explore fascinating science and cutting-edge research topics in physics and astronomy. JMU Physics and Astronomy presents an educational event series designed specially for high school students and teachers but one parents will enjoy, too: Saturday Morning Physics. For the fourth year running, the Physics and Astronomy Department in collaboration with the Office of Outreach and Engagement at James Madison University cordially invite high-school students and science teachers to take part in an engaging enrichment program developed in a sequence of 6 easy-to-follow scientific exploration events.
How stars form is a question that has puzzled scientists for centuries. With the recent advent of new telescopes that can look at wavelengths other than the visible, we have begun to pierce the dark clouds of dust and gas where we think stars are born. Such observations reveal a wealth of activity - chemistry, outflows, stellar fusion turning on - that eventually turn a cold dark cloud of molecular gas into a planetary system or a large stellar cluster. We will draw on examples of radio and infrared observations to show how astronomers sort out what is going on behind the curtain of gas and dust protecting the newborn stars - a curtain that remains hundreds of light years away from us!
Every year the Swedish Academy of Science awards the Nobel Prize in Physics to to those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit to mankind. This past October the award went to Francois Englert and Peter Higgs ...for the theoretical discovery of a mechanism that contributes to our understanding of the origin of mass of subatomic particles... In this lecture we shall explore what hides behind the two sets of ...
We will look at the physics behind some of the most innovative material devices today. These in solar cells, thermoelectric devices, and magnetic and superconductors materials.The goal is to introduce you to the materials that are shaping the future.
Learning algebra and calculus is not necessarily useless for those who are interested in understanding some exotic physical conditions of matter in the universe. Such matter, among others, includes black holes, which can be observationally probed to some extent while still directly inaccessible to us. In this talk I will briefly explain how mathematical language could help astrophysicists study black holes. I will further demonstrate the power of theoretical tools in this exciting field of physics.
Due to the ever-increasing energy demand and growing global concern over the environmental impact of carbon dioxide emissions, there is an urging need to seek solutions to transit from fossil fuels to sustainable energy. Only 30% of the energy used every day is converted into useful work and the remaining 70% is wasted as dissipated heat during energy conversion, transportation, and storage. This giant loss can itself be source of recyclable energy that can be renewed into useful energy with the use of thermoelectric (TE) materials. These TE materials have the ability to directly and efficiently convert heat into electricity. In this lecture, we present our most recent results on the thermoelectric properties of Manganese Oxide powders as a function electrical resistance.
Just in time for spring training! We will discuss the various forces that are present in a typical baseball play. We will examine how the pitcher can use spin to control the path of a pitch and attempt to fool batters, and what role the seams on the ball play. We will also take a close look at what goes on when a bat hits a ball. Questions to think about: how important is the batters follow through on the path of the ball? Are aluminum bats "better"? What good does corking a bat do? As Skip from Bull Durham once said "(Baseball) is a simple game. You throw the ball. You hit the ball. You catch the ball." We'll discuss some of the complicated details of this simple sport.
The registration fee for the Saturday Morning Physics program is $45. Please follow this link to register for the program. If you would further like to be considered for a scholarship to defer costs to the program, click this link to submit a scholarship application
To be awarded a final certificate, you will need to complete at least 4 out of 6 events. Regular attendance is highly recommended!
For additional fees, high-school students (juniors/seniors) may earn a college credit and teachers may earn CEUs. For details, please contact JMU Outreach & Engagement at 540 658 4253 or firstname.lastname@example.org!
SMP was held in 2011, 2012, and 2013. Here are the links to the previous events: