Physics 173 Internet
Question of the Week
March 16 - March 20, 1998
Use a major search engine (HotBot ,
Excite, etc.) to conduct an
internet search in order to find some information on the
physics of one of the following topics:
- Lightning Discharges and Lightning
Explain how static charge can build up in clouds and describe
the different ways that a cloud will discharge its excess charge.
Explain in detail how and why the excess charge discharges in the
manner it that it does. Explain the reason for the use of
lightning rods in homes and some of the dificulties associated
with their misuse.
- Ben Franklin's Static Electricity
Describe some of ben Franklin's scientific studies,
particularly those associated with static electricity and charge.
Explain what Ben Franklin was able to discover about electric
charge and describe his contribution to our understanding of
- St. Elmo's Fire and Corona
Describe what St. Elmo's fire is and describe its appearance if
it one were to see it. Discuss why St. Elmo's fire appears the way
that it does (i.e., what is happening to give it the
characteristic appearance). Explain why and when St. Elmo's fire
- Nikola Telsa and Telsa
Discuss who Nikola Telsa was and describe some of his scientic
studies. Explain what he discovered and the contributions which he
made to our understanding of electricity. Discuss what a telsa
coil is and what it is used for.
Once you have conducted a suitable search of your topic, write an
organized summary of your findings in your own words. For the entire
two points, the summary should also include the following features:
- The URL(s) which you used to find the relevant information and
a description of your search path (see example search path
- A discussion of the topic (see the guiding questions) in a
manner that communicates it clearly to an individual who has
little or no prior understanding of the topic. Consequently, any
use of sophisticated terms should be proceeded by definitions and
explanations without the assumption that the reader is familiar
with such terms.
- A clear connection should be made between the topic being
discussed and principles discussed during this unit. It should be
obvious to the reader that you understand how static electricity
is applied to the real world phenomenon which you have chosen to
(NOTE: as a possible shortcut to information, perhaps you could
use our own GBS resources or simply go
Enjoy the search!
Two balloons are separated by a distance of
20-cm experience an electric force of 2.00 Newtons. If the charge
on one of the balloons is doubled, and the charge on the second
balloon is tripled, and the distance between them is doubled, then
what is the new force acting upon the balloon?
South Physics Team -
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Glenview, IL 60025 - 1200
Page Maintained by: Tom Henderson
Last Updated: March 16, 1998