Friday, July 26, 2013

Explosive Ending

The main thing today was Bill's demo show. First however, the radio telescope group presented. It only took about 20 minutes. It was interesting to see their apparatus. After that, the demo show began! It had numerous demonstrations that Bill brought out. He explained how each one worked.

  • Density. Cans of Coke, Diet Coke, and Pepsi were dropped in some water. The diet floated, the regular Coke was in the middle, and the Pepsi sank. Bill told us about the differences in them. He then added salt so that they all floated. He then took out a hot-rodded 4 slot toaster. It was hot-rodded in that the bottom bit was removed. He used this to create a hot air trash bag. After this, he mixed vinegar and baking soda in a large terrarium. He then blew bubbles. The bubbles floated around in the carbon dioxide.
  • Rotational momentum. He showed us about how a loop the loop works with one he made himself. He brought out some gyroscope, then demonstrated with them and told us about how they worked. I never really truly understood them before.
  • Shooting Barney. Barney is hanging from something. When a blowgun is fired at him, he drops. When the gun is pointed at Barney, it hits him successfully. This is because the projectile and Barney fall at the same rate.
  • Spring. A 200 pound garage door spring with a seat was attached to the ceiling. (The rigging was well done in my opinion). Bill then climbed a ladder and sat on the seat, so that he bounced up and down. He held a distance sensor and an accelerometer, so that it made a graph. Remember, the difference between fun and science
  • Resonance. First off, Bill took two 440hz (A) tuning forks. He rang one of them, and then the other would start vibrating as well. He then put a tiny bit of mass on one, via two rubber bands, and it no longer worked. He then showed us the Tacoma Narrows Bridge video (a science class is icomplete if it does not contain this video. This even applies to biology). He then took a wineglass, and put it in a box with a speaker next to it. Inside the wineglass was a pingpong ball. He adjusted the frequency of the speaker until the ball bounced around the most.  He took the ball out. He then turned up the volume until it shattered.
  • Cathode ray. There was a sphere filled with helium, with a beam of electrons in it. Using magnets, Bill showed us how it changed.
  • Lightning rod. As a finale, Bill gave us an example of lightning rods. A chamber was filled with acetylene, which is explosive. If the lightning rod didn't work, a few things would cause the acetylene to ignite and explode. Using what I think was a cattle prod, Bill zapped it. The lightning rod did work. To make sure that the setup worked, Bill did it without the lightning rod. It was exciting. 
After the demo show, we had a quick break. We had to fill out a survey. Then, it was time for closing ceremonies. We each cot Bill's business card, a certificate saying we had completed the class, a medal showing we had found the speed of light, and a cd with various slideshows, pictures, and materials on it. Two students also got No-Bell prizes, or Liberty Bells with the bell taken out, so it was just the frame. Everybody thanked everybody else. Class had ended.

I went to see ENIAC, one of the first computers, before lunch. It was interesting conceptually, though it didn't look that exciting. I then had lunch. I relaxed with my friends for several more hours. I helped one learn a bit more about coding in Unity. It was a nice way to spend my free time. I then went to dinner with a friend. I was back in time to sign in and go to the talent show. I relaxed with friends for the rest of the evening.

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