Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Long-Run

We jumped straight into our day with a few group presentations of our Hershey Park rides and our individual labs on exponential experiments for each group. My group was one of the first ones to present, so it was  really nice to be able to sit back after and watch everyone else's interesting PowerPoints on some of Hershey Park's most "hardcore and intense rides", such as the Cocoa Cruiser. All groups did exceedingly well and it made me realize how far that we have all gone on this journey. I've met some of my classmates who understand physics on a college level even before participating in this program, and I know of a few others who stepped foot in our physics class with no knowledge whatsoever. In the long-run however, we're all ending in the same place--with more knowledge and drive than we've ever had before taking this class.

Cosmology lecture
Our guest speaker for the day was Mark Trodden, who discussed the concepts of modern cosmology. Cosmology is basically the study of the universe, as well as physics and time. We discussed a few effects and notions such as the Doppler Effect, and how "beautiful" the galaxies are to most people. However, he soon emphasized that instead of beauty and lights, galaxies are merely viewed as dust to cosmologists. We also talked about the  "black-body spectrum", which is basically a law that states how all objects emit and possess heat glow. These glows can easily be spotted by infrared cameras.

Mark also reintroduced us to the idea of dark matter. His presentation was much more in depth than the past lectures we had from other guest speakers, and he even had a Cosmology magazine article that he wrote all about dark matter, available to us. 

Jim giving a few information about the telescopes 
After our lunch break, we were all split up into our respective interest groups like we had before. My group's radio telescope lab today was different from the usual, since we were able to go to the observatory roof to conduct our experiments! The weather seemed all great, until we started climbing up the many stairs towards the observatory room on the roof. The room was literally hot enough to be suffocated in. If it was not for the super cool equipment in the room, I probably would've ran back down where the glorious AC was still present. My group and I watched in amazement as the roof of the room rolled open and we now had an observatory deck. Our instructor, Jim, brought up some equipment with the radio telescope as well, to show us some more graphs based off of data that we collected with the sun. One of the most interesting parts of that experience was how we were able to move around the telescope and look at the sun through it. Now, I just can't wait to check out the other observatory deck that we're going to be using for tomorrow!

Postcard I won from bingo yaaay
My day concluded with a fun RC meeting with the girls on the first floor of Franklin. I really enjoyed this particular outing, especially since pizza, bingo, ice cream, and candy were all involved. Kelsey shared some more detailed information to us about our last day, and everyone started to look a bit more down. We have all built such a strong foundation for ourselves during this wonderful program, that suddenly having to be pulled away from this is not going to be easy. Nevertheless, this motivates me even more in trying my best to make the most out of my last few days!

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