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Blanco, Francesco; La Rocca, Paola; Petta, Catia; Riggi, Francesco – European Journal of Physics, 2009

An educational model simulation of the sound produced by lightning in the sky has been employed to demonstrate realistic signatures of thunder and its connection to the particular structure of the lightning channel. Algorithms used in the past have been revisited and implemented, making use of current computer techniques. The basic properties of…

Descriptors: Computer Uses in Education, Simulation, Science Instruction, Introductory Courses

Mitchell, Joseph D.; Petrov, Nikola P. – European Journal of Physics, 2009

We apply several physical ideas to determine the steady temperature distribution in a medium moving with uniform velocity between two infinite parallel plates. We compute it in the coordinate frame moving with the medium by integration over the "past" to account for the influence of an infinite set of instantaneous point sources of heat in past…

Descriptors: Physics, Climate, Motion, Science Instruction

Capizzo, M. C.; Sperandeo-Mineo, R. M.; Zarcone, M. – European Journal of Physics, 2008

We present a pedagogic approach aimed at modelling electric conduction in semiconductors in order to describe and explain some macroscopic properties, such as the characteristic behaviour of resistance as a function of temperature. A simple model of the band structure is adopted for the generation of electron-hole pairs as well as for the carrier…

Descriptors: Teaching Methods, Science Instruction, Laboratory Equipment, Science Experiments

Santillan, M.; Zeron, E. S.; Del Rio-Correa, J. L. – European Journal of Physics, 2008

In the traditional statistical mechanics textbooks, the entropy concept is first introduced for the microcanonical ensemble and then extended to the canonical and grand-canonical cases. However, in the authors' experience, this procedure makes it difficult for the student to see the bigger picture and, although quite ingenuous, the subtleness of…

Descriptors: Textbooks, Thermodynamics, Mechanics (Physics), Scientific Concepts

Dobrogowski, W.; Maziewski, A.; Zablotskii, V. – European Journal of Physics, 2007

We describe our experience in building a remote laboratory for teaching magnetic domains. Fulfilling the proposed on-line experiments, students can observe and study magnetization processes that are often difficult to explain with written material. It is proposed that networks of remotely accessible laboratories could be integrated in the Global…

Descriptors: Science Laboratories, Magnets, Scientific Concepts, Science Experiments

Andrews, David L.; Bradshaw, David S. – European Journal of Physics, 2009

Nonlinear optics is generally first presented as an extension of conventional optics. Typically the subject is introduced with reference to a classical oscillatory electric polarization, accommodating correction terms that become significant at high intensities. The material parameters that quantify the extent of the nonlinear response are cast as…

Descriptors: Optics, Scientific Principles, Mathematical Formulas, Science Instruction

Hacyan, Shahen – European Journal of Physics, 2009

According to Poincare, a geometry cannot be an object of experience since any geometrical experiment must be realized with physical objects, such as rulers and light rays, and it is only their properties that can be tested. This position was apparently refuted by general relativity and the successful confirmation of its predictions by astronomical…

Descriptors: Theories, Scientific Principles, Geometry, Geometric Concepts

Fernandes, J. C.; Ferraz, A.; Rogalski, M. S. – European Journal of Physics, 2010

A basic setup for data acquisition and analysis from an oscillatory circuit is described, with focus on its application as either low-pass, high-pass, band-pass or band-reject frequency filter. A homemade board containing the "RLC" elements allows for the interchange of some of them, in particular, for the easy change of the "R" value, and this…

Descriptors: Educational Technology, Data Analysis, Computer Uses in Education, Physics