Posts Tagged ‘energy’

What is a wave?

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

sine wave by bdu on flickr

New topic – yay!  We’ll learn about waves – which is very topical at the moment considering all the earthquakes in Japan.  Before we get on to seismic waves we need to have a basic understanding of what a wave is.  Here are some of the points we’ll try and answer:-

  • What is a wave?
  • What is the difference between transverse and longitudinal waves?
  • What are some examples of transverse and longitudinal waves?
  • What are the amplitude, frequency and wavelength of a wave?

Anatomy of Waves

We’ll then take a look at the wave equation       v = f λ

This shows us the relationship between speed of a wave v, the time it takes for a particle to vibrate up and down, and the distance between successive waves λ.  You’ll need your calculators as we practice solving problems in class.

Energy Performance Task

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

Click on this link to take you to what you need to know.

Oil and other resources

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

Oil refinery 01 by Wyatt's Virtual Drifting on flickr

We’ll take a look at the world’s natural resources, with a particular focus on oil.  We’ll watch a couple of videos.  This one on fossil fuels explains where oil, coal and gas come from, and leads into our next section on the importance of oil and how to separate it out by distillation.  This video explains how this works in an oil refinery. We’ll do a world energy audit and look at where the natural resources are and what the alternative energy sources might be.

We will discuss the idea of exponential growth and watch this video by Chris Martenson.  We will explore the idea of peak oil, and how this is different to “oil running out” by watching this video.  We’ll then research which countries have oil reserves, and how much, and discover that according to CIA world factbook, that the Philippines is #65 on the list.

We will discuss the following essential questions:

  • Why have humans become so much more productive over the last 250 years when compared to the previous 250,000?
  • What is peak oil, and should we be worried that some people say we have reached it?
  • What will be the consequence of an ever increasing human population and falling fossil fuel energy reserves?
  • Will developing countries ever realize the standard of living enjoyed by people in developed countries?

Helpful revision links

Friday, November 19th, 2010


Hardcore study time by Wysz on flickr

Here are some (hopefully) useful links to help you prepare for your exam.  They do not cover everything, but they cover a lot.

The first few pages here deal with energy transfers and conduction, convection and radiation.

We have used these before, but this one on photosynthesis and this one on respiration are good.  Photosynthesis.

Food chains, food webs and the carbon cycleDifferent site, same topics.

Creativity with carbon

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

Imagine you are a carbon atom in a molecule of carbon dioxide in the air.  Close your eyes.  Really imagine yourself as that carbon atom.  Your task is to describe the journey you take from being part of carbon dioxide in the air, through the carbon cycle, until you return to the air again.  Here is my attempt at the beginnings of such a story to give you the idea.  You do not need to start in this way.  You decide.  Get creative!  Let your imagination work!

There I was, happily floating around in my usual gaseous form along with several of my brothers and sisters  (other carbon dioxide molecules), and my good friends nitrogen and oxygen.  We were having a great time bumping into one another, when I got dangerously close to a leaf.  Everyone had always told me to stay away from green plants, that I could get sucked into a stoma and never be seen again.  Before I realized what was happening, I was inside a chloroplast and going through a very fast reaction where I had to let go of my two oxygen atoms, and for a moment be entirely alone.  Before long, I found some other carbons and we joined together, 6 of us, 12 hydrogen friends and 6 oxygen buddies to form a glucose molecule….

Carbon cycle

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

Electric by johnb/uk

We’re going to try and connect all that we have been learning – respiration, combustion, photosynthesis, food chains – into one big carbon cycle. This brainpop video will help get you started.  

This one on fossil fuels explains where oil, coal and gas come from, and leads into our next section on the importance of oil and how to separate it out by distillation.  This video explains how this works in an oil refinery. We’ll do a world energy audit and look at where the natural resources are and what the alternative energy sources might be.

Energy along food chains

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

012 by pixpoils on flickr

What is a food chain?  It is a representation of energy flow through an ecosystem.  All food chains begin with a green plant, that traps energy from the Sun. We’ll look at lots of examples, and get to grips with terms such as producer, consumer, carnivore, herbivore, autotroph, heterotroph.

Food chains have limited use in looking at the big picture in an ecosystem, since there is usually more than one organism feeding on each food source.  For a more realistic view of what happens in nature we need to consider food webs.  A food web is a number of inter-connected food chains.

Check out this brainpop video.

We’ll discuss the idea of interdependence between all the organisms within a food chain, and look at how disease or a change in the environment affects things.

We need to answer this important question:  why are food chains short (only 3 or 4 organisms long)?

We’ll use explorelearning to help us with these concepts.  Log in using the details given in class, type a search for food chains.  Follow the instructions for the food chain, praire ecosystem and forest ecosystem activities.  Enjoy!

And here are a couple more sites to help reinforce these ideas.  This one is from bbc science and this one allows you to explore a number of food webs.

This booklet by Mr Boulton might be useful for review and notes.Booklet to learn about ecology

Life processes

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

Photosynthesis by One-Speed Photography on flickr

The two most important processes for living organisms are RESPIRATION and PHOTOSYNTHESIS.  As we learn about these, you must keep in mind what each has to do with ENERGY

Look at this document.  It is a webquest that will guide you through the main points to remember about respiration and photosynthesis.  Thanks to Mr Goodman for putting it together for us 🙂

Respiration and Photosynthesis Web quest


Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

Why do scientists believe that global warming will lead to more typhoons in places like the Philippines?

Take a look at this post about the recent typhoon that hit Luzon.

Global applications of energy transfer

Monday, October 11th, 2010

Blue Marble (planet earth) by woodleywonderworks on flickr

Each table will be given one of the following questions to research.  Find out all you can, remembering to discuss heat transfer in your answers.   Then we’ll share our findings with the class. The link below each question takes you to a youtube clip that will help to get you started.  Eventually you will post your findings as comments to this blogpost.