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Nobel Prize

Rosalind Franklin, DNA and the Interference of Light

Roberta Tevlin, Editor OAPT Newsletter, Teacher at Danforth CTI
Roberta@tevlin.ca

We need to incorporate more diverse examples of scientists in our courses. Sara Cormier (Physics Instructor at McMaster University) and I are trying to develop resources that will help teachers to do this. (If you would like to be a part of this — please send me an email!)

I started to compile a data base of good examples when I found myself completely distracted by the work of Rosalind Franklin. Her work on the X-ray crystallography of DNA fits perfectly into a lesson about the interference of light! As well as showcasing an important female scientist, an examination of her work can deepen students’ understanding of interference patterns and it highlights a very important connection between biology, chemistry and physics. I found a couple of short videos and a really simple, cheap demo that shows why the interference pattern formed by DNA provides clear evidence of its helical structure! Read More...

Building a Michelson Interferometer, Part II

Richard Taylor, Merivale High School, Ottawa
(see also
mrtaylorspace.wordpress.com)
richard@teya.ca

In the last episode, I had received the main parts of a Michelson Interferometer (the mirrors) and had roughly set them up using Lego stands. In the past couple of weeks I have been working on making a more stable and adjustable platform for this interferometer. Read More...

Building a Michelson Interferometer

Richard Taylor, Merivale High School, Ottawa
(see also
mrtaylorspace.wordpress.com)
richard@teya.ca

My school has had a Michelson Interferometer for many years, and I always show it to my grade 12 students to help explain the Michelson-Morley experiment - the one that showed that the speed of light does not depend on the motion of the observer. I showed this interferometer to some other Physics teachers on the February 2016 PD day in Ottawa. They were very interested and wanted to show their students. So I thought I would find out if I could build a similar and very inexpensive interferometer. Read More...

Lasers: A Solution looking for a Problem

Roberta Tevlin, OAPT Editor, Teacher Danforth CTI
Roberta.tevlin@tdsb.on.ca
Edited by Margaret Scora

Lasers are quantum light sources and they are everywhere. But what is quantum about them? The PhET simulation is a great tool to give students a feel for the quantum process called stimulated emission. Read More...

CBC Interview: Nobel Prize and Physics Teaching

Today the Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Canadian physicist Arthur McDonald for his work on neutrino oscillations. Chris Meyer heard about it while driving to work, and talked about it with his first period class, but little did he suspect that before noon he would be interviewed by CBC Newsworld!

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