This site from the Exploratorium contains an activity to demonstrate fatigue of the eyes’ motion detectors and the resulting visual illusions. A spiral disk is rotated as the participant stares at it for a few seconds; upon looking away, he or she sees the surroundings rushing toward or away from him or her. The activity uses everyday materials and includes an explanation of what occurs. This activity is part of Exploratorium’s Science Snacks series.
This resource presents four topics and nine activities related to the Earth’s rotation. This chapter looks first at the phenomenon of shadows (how they are made), then uses measurements of shadows to track the motion of the sun across the sky. The activities challenge students to quantify their observations, and in so doing, learn useful measuring and organizational techniques. This is a chapter in the online book called Eyes on the Sky, Feet on the Ground, an exploration into astronomy as a classroom tool for learning how to theorize, experiment, and analyze data.
This website, from the University of California, Berkeley, provides a description of the study of stellar motion around the center of a galaxy, and includes a graph of rotational speed versus distance from the center. The site relates this study to the prediction of dark matter. The page also gives explanations of other lines of evidence for dark matter. ____________________________________
This page provides a set of context-rich physics problems on center of mass, moment of inertia, angular momentum, torques, and rotational energy. Each context-rich problem is based on a real-world situation, and includes both information that is relevant to solving the problem and extraneous information. Strategies for problem solving are not explicitly provided. Each problem is formulated so it is too difficult for one student to solve alone, yet not too difficult for a group to master. This resource is based on the research results of the Minnesota Physics Education Research group.
This lesson teaches students how the motion of the Foucault pendulum proves that the earth is rotating. It will help to expand their concepts of motion, pendulums, and the gravitational force. Students will explore online resources to understand how Foucault used pendulums to show that the earth spins on its axis.
This lesson has students use Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) data from the EIT (Extreme-ultraviolet Imaging Telescope) instrument on the spacecraft to discover differential rotation of the Sun. They will realize that the Sun has a north and south pole, just as the Earth does, and rotates on its axis. However, unlike Earth, which rotates at all latitudes every 24 hours, the Sun rotates every 25 days at the equator and takes progressively longer to rotate at higher latitudes, up to 35 days at the poles which is known as differential rotation.