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Knows that scientists conduct investigations for a variety of reasons, such as exploration of new areas, discovery of new aspects of the natural world, confirmation of prior investigations, prediction of current theories and comparison of models and theories.

Who Hits Harder: The Nordic Skier or Aerial Jumper?

Computer modeling is used to estimate physical quantities that are difficult to measure, in this case, the landing shock experienced by ski jumpers. The landing shock is difficult to measure because attaching instruments to the skiers would affect their balance and possibly cause them to fall or reduce their performance. Using basic principals of physics, the flight trajectories of two forms of competitive ski jumping, Freestyle Aerialist and Nordic Jumpers, were modeled and the landing shocks compared.

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Two Answers are Better than One

What powerful mathematical tool do you use everyday? If you have ever considered how much food you can eat and still leave room for dessert, or made a rough calculation of how long it will take to travel to school, you are using estimates to help guide and inform your decisions.

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Seeing Interference Fringes with a Telescope

Astronomers build larger telescopes not only to collect more energy but also to resolve finer detail in the objects to be studied. While groundbased optical telescopes with "filled" apertures of up to 10 m have been built, and 30 m and larger-aperture designs are being studied, another method of observations permits equivalent apertures spanning tens to hundreds of meters to be used. Radio astronomers have used these instruments, called interferometers, for decades, with equivalent apertures spanning thousands of kilometers.

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Seeing Interference Fringes

Demonstrate the wave nature of light by projecting interference patterns. Detecting the interference of waves is one of the most powerful methods in science for measuring wave phenomena, and using the waves and their interference can reveal underlying details of their sources and the materials through which they travel.

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Now You See It, Now You Don't

A demonstration of the effect of the optic disc, or "blind spot," inherent to the optic nerve entering the posterior of the eye (bulbus oculi).

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Learning to Think Globally

There is a popular bumper sticker slogan which advises us to 'Think Globally, Act Locally'. But what does it really mean to 'think globally'? One meaning could be to try to estimate the global consequences of the things you do. Here is one way to go about this.

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