AAPT.org - American Association of Physics Teachers

October 2018 issue of The Physics Teacher


Volume 56 Issue 7, October 2018


The Physics Teacher

This month's cover shows an elegant Lissajous figure adapted from the cover of Thomas Greenslade’s new book Adventures with Lissajous  Figures (2018, Morgan & Claypool Publishers), created on his double-elliptic harmonograph.  See A Reproduction Lissajous Figure Machine for more about Lissajous figures, and some connections to music, history, and art.



Letters to the Editor

Mysterious soda can by Said Shakerin, and Edwin Pejack. DOI: 10.1119/1.5055314

Another pictorial approach to Lenz’s law by Laurence Tarini. DOI: 10.1119/1.5055315

Comment on “Two Balls’ Collision of Mass Ratio 3:1” by Rod Cross. DOI: /10.1119/1.5055316

Color mixing with four prisms redux by Tommaso Rosi, Pasquale Onorato, Luigi Gratton, and Stefano Oss. DOI: 10.1119/1.5055317


And the Survey Says..., Figuring Physics, iPhysicsLabs, Astronotes, Physics Challenge for Teachers and Students, Fermi Questions, Talkin' Physics, Technology in the Classroom, Visual Physics, and Websights.


Lissajous Figures, Musical Intervals, and the Just Diatonic Scale by Michael J. Ruiz. DOI: 10.1119/1.5055319

A Reproduction Lissajous Figure Machine by John A. Daffron, and Thomas B. Greenslade Jr. DOI: 10.1119/1.5055320

A Simple Model for the Distribution of Dark Matter by Lakshya Kaura, Akshat Mallya, and Vijay A. Singh. DOI: 10.1119/1.5055322

The Surprisingly Strong Arms of the Therizinosaur Dinosaurs by Scott A. Lee, and Zachary Richards. DOI: 10.1119/1.5055323

Analyzing Railguns with Excel: Simple Numerical Integration for the Classroom by Gabriel I. Font, and Anthony N. Dills. DOI: 10.1119/1.5055324

Towards Meaningful Physics Recognition: What does this recognition actually look like? by Zahra Hazari, and Cheryl Cass. DOI: 10.1119/1.5055325

Investigating Physics Self-Belief of Female African-American Students by CarriEve Horna, and A. J. Richards. DOI: 10.1119/1.5055326

Physics Champions Among White Women and People of Color by David Rosengrant. DOI: 10.1119/1.5055327

Searching for Stellar Explosions to Teach the Process of Science by Travis Rector, Michelle Wooten, Andrew Puckett, Catherine Pilachowski, and Kimberly Coble. DOI: 10.1119/1.5055328

Calculating Planetary Temperatures from Radiation, Albedo, and Greenhouse Effect in a Descriptive Astronomy or Conceptual Physics Laboratory by Michael LoPresto. DOI: 10.1119/1.5055329

Building Measurement Devices with Students – From Hands-on to Minds-on by Gilit Porat, and Shulamit Kapon. DOI: 10.1119/1.5055330

Implementing Investigative Labs and Writing Intensive Reports in Large University Physics Courses by Kathleen Foote, and Silvia Martino. DOI: 10.1119/1.5055331

Moving Beyond Misconceptions: Learning Progressions as a Lens for Seeing Progress in Student Thinking by Alicia C. Alonzo, and Claudia von Aufschnaiter. DOI: 10.1119/1.5055332

Weighing a Magnet as it Falls with Terminal Velocity Through an Aluminum Pipe by F. Behroozi. DOI: 10.1119/1.5055333

Audiometric Test with a Smartphone by Lars-Jochen Thoms, Giuseppe Colicchia, and Raimund Girwidz. DOI: 10.1119/1.5055334

Book Reviews

Fashion, Faith, and Fantasy in the New Physics of the Universe by Jennifer Birriel. DOI: 10.1119/1.5055335

Physics in Sports bu David M. Smith. DOI: 10.1119/1.5055336


Additional Resources

Race and Physics Teaching Collection Resource

DNA Science TPT Element

DNA Science Lesson & Digi-Kit

Inspired by an article from The Physics Teacher, this multidisciplinary lesson and digital resource collection is based on How Rosalind Franklin Discovered the Helical Structure of DNA: Experiments in Diffraction (Braun, Tierney, & Schmitzer, 2011). Click the image to access this resource.