Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Lucky and Stress-Free

Last night's thunder and lighting opened up to a beautiful morning of blue skies and sunshine. A few students in my class and I walked together to Physics and began to download a chart program onto our laptops that was needed for Lab. Soon after, we began class with a lecture on energy, light diffraction, and momentum, given by Mary, our other instructor. She always seems to be so excited and eager to teach the material, and her demonstrations and humor held us all captivated by the mind-blowing science that was taking place right before us. Movie clips of superheroes as they save hundreds of people by stopping a rogue train, and demos involving several deaths of raw eggs were shown to us so we can gain a better understanding of the subject. There is literally no way of escaping the Physics all around us.
Demonstrations of waves in class

Soon after, the class went upstairs and broke up into our respective groups to begin our first lab of the day. They were fun experiments where we had to bounce various types of balls, while measuring their kinetic, potential, and total energy. The data sensed by a motion detector would transfer the information into our laptop, creating several charts to help map our results. Bill rounded us back into the classroom, as he prepared us for our next experiment on light diffraction and waves. He also had to incorporate some Algebra and Trigonometry concepts into our discussion, which gave me more of a rough time that I thought it would have.

Most of the material that Bill covered today was review for me, but my knowledge of Conceptual Physics last semester is definitely not nearly as complex as today's lesson. My Conceptual Physics class used little to no forms of mathematics in our labs and lectures, so having all these equations was a bit more different for me. However,  I was able to grasp the general idea of the lesson, and at this rate, I am positive that I will be able to quickly improve my knowledge of Physics--all thanks to my wonderful professors! 
Penn students and their pranks. Yes, that is pizza.
We began our last lab of the day on light interference and diffraction after Bill's thorough explanation of waves and their patterns. We calculated wavelengths of a laser light and tried the best we could to get an accurate answer. The lab was a bit frustrating for me, but my group worked diligently to get it done. I remember how most of my Physics lab projects and class demonstrations are actually quite similar to the ones that Bill, Mary, and Craig does for class. However, the equipment and lab procedures are far more advanced than the ones that I had in high school. All these fancy tools really does make me feel lucky that I am able to expand my love for Physics while being surrounded by the best things in the world to help me learn. 
Sunset in the Quad

It was a long morning and afternoon of class, but the reward of relaxation was soon given, afterwards. The group of girls living in the Franklin and Brooks dormitories had an RC event planned for us in the lounge tonight! There were drinks and fresh ordered batches of Insomnia Cookies for us as well. Apart from the wonderful food, the purpose of the event tonight was to relax and take a break from studies. And what better way to relax, than making our own stress ball? The actual building of the stress ball was a lot more stressful than it should've been, but it was a very fun experience. We tested our balloon blowing skills, filled the balloons with flour, and added some decorations as the finishing touches of our masterpiece. 

My stress ball!
Finally at around 10:30 PM, Kelsey gathered our group of girls together in the Franklin lounge for a routine RC meeting. We discussed about some concerns and feedback of our Penn experiences so far and talked about fun upcoming events, such as Movie Night on Friday! The night was definitely a great time to relax and have some fun after another intense day of Physics class, and now, I am ready to tackle some more science tomorrow!  

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