Table of Astronomy

Astronomy(8A):Planetary Astronomy

Astronomy(8C):Cosmology

Lecture Demonstrations

Stellar Astronomy

PIRA Classification 8B

8B10. The Sun

PIRA #

Demonstration Name

Abstract

8B10.10

60 Watt Sun

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8B10.20

The Solar Constant

Accurate methods to calculate the amount of energy the Earth receives from the Sun. See The Physics Teacher - TPT, 42(4), 196

8B10.20

Solar Constant

See The Physics Teacher - TPT 38(6), 333

8B10.20

Solar Constant Lab

Inexpensive equipment used to measure the solar constant. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 15(3), 172

8B10.22

Solar Energy

Measurement of solar energy from the Sun. See American Journal of Physics - AJP 45(10), 981

8B10.24

Solar Luminosity

Estimating hc/k from observations of sunlight. See American Journal of Physics - AJP 73(10), 979

8B10.24

Solar Luminosity

Experiments measuring the solar constant used to calculate the luminosity of the Sun. See American Journal of Physics - AJP 74(8), 728

8B10.24

Solar luminosity

Use a light bulb of known wattage to calculate the luminosity of the Sun. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 29(2), 96

8B10.25

Solar Wien Peak

A discussion of why the human eye sees best at the yellow-green wavelengths which is well away from the Wien peak. See American Journal of Physics - AJP 71(3), 216

8B10.25

Solar Wien Peak

A calculation that puts the Sun's Wien peak at 710 nm. See American Journal of Physics - AJP 71(12), 322 See also AJP 71(6), 519.

8B10.30

The Sun's Temperature

How to calculate the Sun's temperature from known data. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 17(8), 531

8B10.35

The Sun's Diameter

How to use a pinhole to calculate the diameter of the Sun. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 38(5), 272

8B10.35

The Sun's Size

Using ratios and models in class to bring the size of the Sun into perspective. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 38(2), 115

8B10.35

The Sun's Size

How the observed size of the Sun changes from perihelion to aphelion. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 39(4), 249

8B10.35

The Sun's Diameter

Use an index card with a small hole and a meter stick to determine the diameter of the Sun.

8B10.40

Lava Lamp

Making a lava lamp which can be used to show convection cells. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 46(4), 219

8B10.50

Sunspots

8B10.50

Sunspot on the Overhead

A light bulb on a variac is turned up to visible glow and placed on an overhead projector that is turned off. When the overhead is turned on, the filament appears as a dark spot.

8B10.50

Sunspot Hallway Demo

In a brightly lit room open the door to a dimly lit hallway. The hallway appears dark. Gradually dim the room lights and observe how the hallway dramatically lights up. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 35(6), 334

8B10.60

Random Walk

Flip coin to model 1-d random walk. Execute a computer program or shake a pan of ping pong balls or tennis balls to model a 2-d random walk.

8B10.60

Random Walk - Modeling the Energy Outflow in Stars

Use a Bumble Ball ( a common toy ) to illustrate the random walk of high energy photons in a star. See The Physics Teacher - TPT,37(4), 236

8B10.70

Solar Oscillations

8B10.80

Stellar/Nuclear Fusion

A model built from magnets to demonstrate the forces in nuclear fusion. See American Journal of Physics - AJP 62(9), 804

8B10.80

Stellar Fusion

A look at fission and fusion and a determination as to which processes or nuclei release more energy. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 43(5), 303

8B10.90

Poynting-Robertson Effect

How to demo the Poynting-Robertson effect using an air track, air cart, and an air hose blowing air down onto the air track. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 42(2), 119

8B20. Stellar Spectra

PIRA #

Demonstration Name

Abstract

8B20.10

Stellar Spectra

Using stellar spectra to classify stars according to temperature. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 38(1), 35

8B20.20

Doppler Effect & Stellar Spectra

A flaw in the argument of observed red shifts as proof of an expanding universe. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 26(2), 102

8B20.20

Doppler Effect & Stellar Spectra

The effect of the Doppler shift on the spectrum of stars as observed by space travelers. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 35(3), 160

8B20.20

Doppler Effect & Stellar Spectra

How the energy of a photon is directly proportional to frequency and how this is not a violation of energy conservation when applied to the observed Doppler effect. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 21(9), 616

8B20.20

Doppler Effect & Stellar Spectra

A further discussion on energy conservation and the Doppler effect. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 22(6), 350

8B20.40

Gamma Ray Line Astronomy

Gamma ray line astronomy (GRLA) used to detect spectral features from stars. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 19(8), 527

8B30. Stellar Evolution

PIRA #

Demonstration Name

Abstract

8B30.10

Stellar Magnitude Simulator

Six LEDs are adjusted so they appear to form a linear progression from dim to bright. The actual brightness is then measured. See American Journal of Physics - AJP 46(8),813

8B30.10

Stellar Magnitude

An explanation of stellar magnitude and how it is used. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 29(5), 273

8B30.20

HR diagram

Why is the Sun so large. Deriving a lower limit on the radius and mass of a hydrogen-burning star. Why 90 percent of stars lie in the "main sequence". See American Journal of Physics - AJP 74(10), 938

8B30.20

HR Diagram

Transformation of a main sequence star to a red giant is discussed. See American Journal of Physics - AJP 68(5), 421

8B30.20

HR Diagram

Using part of the PSSC text to teach about the HR diagram. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 27(4), 231

8B30.20

HR Diagram

A discussion of a simple but often missed important implication of the Main Sequence. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 34(6), 327

8B30.20

HR Diagram

A student-centered, learning-cycle approach to teaching star life cycles. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 42(6), 347

8B30.20

HR Diagram

The use of variable stars as a means to observe aging of stars. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 25(7), 420

8B30.30

Stellar Lifecycle

Inquiry based Stellar lifecycle exercise. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 42(6), 347

8B30.30

Stellar Lifecycle

How the force of gravity can be responsible for the birth and death of stars. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 17(4), 278

8B30.30

Stellar Lifecycle

A look at how a star is born and the processes that determine it's lifecycle. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 10(4), 182

8B30.30

Stellar Lifecycle

Part 2 of a look at how a star is born and the processes that determine it's lifecycle. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 10(6), 299

8B30.35

Binary Star System

How to observe eclipsing binary stars and make a model from an "N" gauge railroad set and light bulbs. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 7(8), 453

8B30.35

Binary Star System

A discussion of the aberration of light from a binary star system. See American Journal of Physics - AJP 35(9), 817

8B30.35

Binary Star System

Two different size balls on a rod can be used to model a binary star system. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 28(6), 425

8B30.35

Binary Star System

A model eclipsing binary star system using light bulbs. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 17(7), 456

8B30.40

Variable Star Simulation

A ball eclipses a lamp. The output from a phototransistor is conditioned by a ADC/microcomputer/DAC on the way to an oscilloscope display. See American Journal of Physics - AJP 51(7),668

8B30.40

Variable Stars

Variable stars are used to provide information about properties, processes, and evolution of stars. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 31(9), 541

8B30.42

Supernova

Resource Letter: OTS-1: Obervations and theory of supernovae. Also, many books and review articles. See American Journal of Physics - AJP 71(1), 11

8B30.42

Synthesized Variable Star

Use a PROM to store the curves for variable stars. No microprocessor, the curve is generated with a simple hardware circuit. See American Journal of Physics - AJP 46(11),1197

8B30.42

Variable Star Simulation

A dimmer control is varied by a cam on a motor drive. See American Journal of Physics - AJP 44(12),1227

8B30.42

Digital Variable Star

A simple circuit drives a lamp with data stored in EPROM to generate real light curves from various types of variable stars. Also includes discussion of a classroom photometer. See American Journal of Physics - AJP 54(11),976

8B30.45

Supernova

What happens and what results from the death of a star. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 9(6), 326

8B30.45

Supernova

The Crab Nebula and some results from the death of a star. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 7(1), 24

8B30.50

Supernova Core Bounce

Velocity amplification in collision experiments involving Superballs. Analysis and how to make the demonstration. See American Journal of Physics - AJP 39(6), 656

8B30.50

Supernova Core Bounce

Use the double ball bounce to illustrate supernova core bounce. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 28(8),558

8B30.50

Supernova Core Bounce

Use the "Astro-Blaster" toy to demonstrate the supernova core bounce. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 33(6), 358

8B30.50

Supernova Core Bounce

Other combinations of ball that can be used to demonstrate a supernova core bounce. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 33(9), 548

8B30.50

Supernova Core Bounce

Analysis of multiple ball collisions and suggestions for safer multiple ball collision demonstrations. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 30(1), 46

8B30.50

Supernova Core Bounce

How to make an aligner for elastic collision of multiple dropped balls. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 33(1), 56

8B30.50

Supernova Core Bounce

Comments on non-ideal multiball collisions. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 30(4), 197

8B30.55

Flashbulb Supernova

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8B30.60

Neutron Stars

Neutron star projects for undergraduates. See American Journal of Physics - AJP 72(7), 892

8B30.65

Pulsar Model

8B30.70

Pulsar Recording

8B30.70

Pulsars

Observations of pulsars used in the lab or the classroom. See American Journal of Physics - AJP 46(5), 530

8B30.70

Pulsars

Observations and speculation of 4 pulsars. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 9(5), 232

8B30.72

X-Ray Pulsar

Calculation of the "spindown" rate of the x-ray pulsar SGR 1806-20. See American Journal of Physics - AJP 68(8), 775

8B30.75

White Dwarfs

8B30.90

Nebula

8B30.95

Forward and Backward Acattering

Clap erasers in front of and behind a clear 60 W lamp. See University of Minnesota Handbook - 8B10.40

8B30.95

Forward and Backward Scattering

Aim a laser or laser pointer through a fish tank filled with water that has a small amount of Pine-Sol added to it. Forward, side, and back scattering can be observed.

8B40. Black Holes

PIRA #

Demonstration Name

Abstract

8B40.10

Black Holes

Look inside a black hole. See American Journal of Physics - AJP 45(5), 423

8B40.10

Black Holes

How long can an observer wait before rescuing an object falling into a black hole. See American Journal of Physics - AJP 56(1), 27

8B40.10

Black Holes

On the radius of black holes. See American Journal of Physics - AJP 42(11), 1039

8B40.10

Black Holes

A simple model for the emission of particles by black holes. See American Journal of Physics - AJP 46(6),678

8B40.10

Black Holes

Two analytical models of gravitational collapse. See American Journal of Physics - AJP 73(12), 1148

8B40.10

Black Holes

Part 1. To convey the properties of black hole to students it is useful to put them human terms, such as "The hazards of encountering a black hole". See The Physics Teacher - TPT 23(9), 540

8B40.10

Black Holes

Some simple black hole thermodynamics. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 41(5), 299

8B40.10

Black Holes

How dense is a black hole?? See The Physics Teacher - TPT 39(2), 84

8B40.10

Black Holes

Part 2. To convey the properties of black hole to students it is useful to put them human terms, such as "The hazards of encountering a black hole". See The Physics Teacher - TPT 24(1), 29

8B40.10

Black Holes

A black hole in our galactic center. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 46(1), 10

8B40.20

Black Hole Surface

A large fiberglass black hole potential surface from some museum in Philly. See University of Minnesota Handbook - 8C20.10

8B40.30

Membrane Table

Swimsuit fabric stretched over a wood frame is deformed with a weight and balls are rolled around. See University of Minnesota Handbook - 8C20.20

8B40.35

Potential Well/Hill

How to make a potential well or hill from a Pexiglas sheet on a frame. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 16(7), 504

8B40.40

Gravity Well

Use this demonstration when discussing black holes and gravity wells.

8B40.50

Magnetic Field Coupling

8B50. Stellar Miscellaneous

PIRA #

Demonstration Name

Abstract

8B50.10

Distance to Stars

How to construct an "Astronomy Angulator" to calculate small angles to assist in naked-eye observations. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 39(3), 187

8B50.20

Stellar Diameter Measurement

The angular separation of two artificial stars is measured by the Michelson method of measuring stellar diameters. Diagrams, Reference: AJP 27(2),101.

8B50.30

Interferometry

Stellar interferometers used to measure the angular diameters of stars. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 39(7), 428

8B50.40

Stellar Energy Radiation

A look at the processes that determine the energy radiated by a star. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 28(8), 526

8B50.50

Stellar Radiation

What does it take to make a sun shine. See American Journal of Physics - AJP 46(1), 23

8B50.60

Lookback Time

Note historic events going on when light from specific distant stars started its journey to Earth. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 31(7), 422

8B50.60

Lookback Time

Lookback times and how to calculate them. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 27(7), 518

8B50.70

Olbers' Paradox

Why is the sky dark at night when there are so many stars. See American Journal of Physics - AJP 45(2), 119

8B50.70

Olbers' Paradox

The expansion of the universe may also be used to explain Olbers' paradox. See American Journal of Physics - AJP 46(9), 923

8B50.70

Olbers' Paradox

Why is the sky dark at night when there are so many stars. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 38(2), 122

8B50.80

Gamma Ray Bursts

Gamma Ray Bursts (GRB's) and the effects of time dialation and time contraction. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 36(3), 176

Demonstrations

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