Archive for December, 2015

Rowe (1974)

December 4, 2015

Cognitive research shows that when challenged to answer a question, a person’s response time increases proportionally to the difficulty of the question. Questions regarding a subject on which a student is not well versed requires a bit of brain work, though in many classrooms, this is not observed. In this paper, Mary Budd Rowe summarizes her research resulting in the concept of wait-time. This can be understood as the spaces between vocalization where complex thoughts can form and take on a reasonable shape. This is not familiar research for many of us, so you may want to glance over game theory, cognition, and think about how learning takes place. The rest will be discussed on Monday.

Farman et al. (1985)

December 3, 2015

Farman et al. (1985)

Ozone (O3) is an amazing molecule. In the Stratosphere, it is a vital layer that shields us from harmful UV rays. Near ground level, it is a pollutant that causes acute and long term side effects that are harmful to us. In this famous paper, Farman discovers the “hole” in the ozone layer above Antarctica. He attempts to find the source of this loss of ozone by measurements of [ClOx] and [NOx] and how they interact. Could it be halocarbons caused by freons? Sun spots? NO and NO2 caused by supersonic jets?

Tune in this Friday for the answers!

Age of meteorites and the earth – Claire Patterson (1956)

December 1, 2015

Radiometric dating was started in 1905 and was invented as a method of determining the age of the earth by Ernest Rutherford. In the time since then there has been much interest in definitive dating of the earth using uranium-lead ratio dating, lead-lead ratio dating, potassium-strontium dating, etc. along with a defendable computation. While our discussion will conclude with focus specifically on the 1956 Patterson paper, the radiometric methods used and the error associated with each method, more background discussion on the formation of the solar system, how radiometric dating works, and the characters involved in Patterson’s work will be explored. While reading the paper think about the association between these meteors and the earth, the reasons for using the isotopes used for radiometric dating, and a review of isochrons would be helpful.