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This Week at Physics

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Events on Thursday, December 6th, 2018

Physics Education Innovation Seminar
Energy-Interaction Diagrams: Fostering resources for productive disciplinary engagement with energy
Time: 12:00 pm
Place: 5310 Chamberlin
Speaker: Dr. Benedikt Harrer, San Jose State University
Abstract: Over the years, numerous graphical representations have been proposed that allow learners of physics to visualize energy states and dynamics in a particular situation. Each diagram highlights different aspects of energy and therefore may represent different conceptualizations of energy. The Energy-Interaction Diagram is a representation for energy dynamics in a physical system that highlights energy conservation and was originally developed by the late Wendell Potter (formerly of the University of California, Davis) for use in the Collaborative Learning through Active Sense-making in Physics (CLASP) curriculum. We have found that students’ use of the Energy-Interaction Diagram can evoke productive resources for disciplinary engagement with energy. I will show this with the example of a student group trying to make sense of a puzzling scenario: Two billiard balls on parallel incline tracks with different widths – why does one ball roll down the ramp faster than the other? In particular, these students activate the resources indicator reasoning, systems thinking, metaphor use, and mechanistic reasoning while modeling this scenario with the Energy-Interaction Diagram.
Host: Benjamin Spike
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Astronomy Colloquium
Devasthal Optical Telescope Integral Field Spectrograph
Time: 3:30 pm
Place: 4421 Sterling Hall, Coffee and Cookies 3:30 PM, Talk begins at 3:45 PM
Speaker: Sabyasachi Chattpadhyay, UW Madison Astronomy Dept
Abstract: Devasthal Optical Telescope Integral Field Spectrograph (DOTIFS) is a new multi-object integral field spectrograph being built by the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), Pune, India for the 3.6m Devasthal Optical Telescope, (DOT). The Devasthal Observatory has been constructed by the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), Nainital. DOTIFS is mainly designed to study the physics and kinematics of ionized gas, star formation and H II regions in the nearby galaxies. DOTIFS is a novel instrument in terms of multi-IFUs, built in deployment system, and high throughput. A magnifier at the Cassegrain side port of the telescope feeds sixteen integral field units (IFUs). The IFUs can be deployed over an 8’ diameter focal plane by x-y actuators. An intelligent deployment algorithm has been developed to allow optimized reconfiguration and to avoid any collision between IFUs. The whole deployment system has a complex 3-dimensional structure to allow maximum positioning freedom to the IFUs. The speaker will provide details of the instruments and the challenges. The instrument is at the phase of fabrication and is scheduled to be commissioned in late 2020.
Host: UW Astronomy Dept
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