Short Talks in Groups

 

For weeks 4, 5, 6 you will be working in a group of two or three.  The choice of topics is below. We proceed in the approximate order that they are listed.  That is, if you pick a topic in the solar system you are likely to present in week 4.  If you choose galaxies it will likely be week 6. Four of the topics are not as extensive as the others and they are reserved for groups of two. (They are in italics.)  If you are in a group of two you may choose one of the other topics if you wish.

 

The groups are listed at the bottom. Your group will have 20 minutes to talk followed by 5 minutes of questions. You can send anything to be displayed to me or you can bring your own computer.  If you use your own computer you need to try it out with my projector.

 

Coordinate with your group so that your talk makes a coherent whole. You should have at least one run through with the group to make sure you know what each other is saying and your slides and time works together. Share the speaking time and work!

 

Topics must be chosen by the end of class Tuesday, August 29.  We should have a bit of time at the end of class for you to discuss which topic you want, but if you get together to agree before then, just email me your choice. If you wish, you may include a second choice; however topics will be assigned first come first serve.

 

You should aim to get with your group by the Sunday night before your presentation and send me an outline or a .ppt file and a list of the resources that you used.  Include whether you are using your own computer or mine.  If you use mine, have a thumb drive or mail what you want by Sunday. (Occasionally there are problems with my computer playing nice with your materials and I would like a full day to work that out.)

 

As usual, those of you presenting will be asked to write self-evaluation on your own talk [but NOT the other talk on your day].

 

Those of you NOT presenting will be asked to write and email me a summary of each talk with a comment on the talks you have heard.

 

 

TOPICS

 

Comets

What is their nature?  How do their appearances change as the orbit the Sun.  How were they formed?

What has NASA taught us about them?

 

Asteroids

What is their nature?   How were they formed? What has NASA taught us about them?

 

Jupiter and Saturn What are their interiors like? How do they differ and why?  What with all those clouds? How did they get rings?

What has NASA taught us about them?

 

Origin of our solar system.

Include how the sun was formed, then proceed to how our protoplanetary disk made our planets, asteroids, comets, etc.

 

Stellar formation

How do stars form from the interstellar material (ISM)? What keeps them from becoming brown dwarfs or planets?  What is a protostar? Have we seen any?

 

General Stellar Evolution

Why do stars evolve?  How do we see that evolution?

How do stars change H into He? Why is this in the center of stars?  Can you make other elements? How?  Why is this so difficult? Hydrostatic equilibrium and why stars stay in balance

Why don’t stars blow apart, usually? How does changing the mass of a star change its balance? Why do stars evolve from the Main Sequence?

 

Stellar Death by Supernovae

Why does a star supernova (and why don’t most)?  What is the result?  Evidence?  How often does this happen?

[If you add death by Planetary Nebula then this is ok for group of three.]

 

 

Relativity:  General and Special

What are the basic assumptions of special relativity?  What are the consequences?  Give some examples.

What are the basic assumptions of general relativity?  What are the consequences?  Give some examples.  How is GR an alternative to standard gravity? Include some useful astronomical applications such as gravitational lensing

 

 

Black Holes

What convincing evidence do we have that black holes exist?  How can we measure their properties?

 

Exoplanets 

What’s out there and how do we detect them?

 

Galaxies

What types of galaxies are out there?  How do they form?  Why are there different types?  Which type is the Milky Way?

 

 

After this presentation each group will be asked one question to submit a written answer for one bonus point

 

Topics must be chosen by the end of class Tuesday, August 29.  We should have a bit of time at the end of class for you to discuss which topic you want, but if you get together to agree before then, just email me your choice. If you wish, you may include a second choice; however topics will be assigned first come first serve.

 

 

Get together electronically or some way and discuss what you are going to do!!  You will very likely need a meeting to sort everything out and then one more to smooth the talk out so that is flows from one person to another.  Everyone gets to talk! Figure out the time allotment so the total is not over 25 minutes. That does not necessarily mean each of you takes exactly 10 minutes, although that is fine.  Don’t fight about who gets the spotlight. Spend some time teaching each other everything you learned so that when you get questions all of you know what is being asked.  Pool all your figures, graphs, media onto ONE computer (although you might duplicate it on a backup computer in case the projector does not like your computer) so you don’t have to switch back and forth during the presentation.

By the Sunday night before your presentation and send me an outline or a .ppt file and a list of the resources that you used.  Include whether you are using your own computer or mine.  If you use mine, have a thumb drive or mail what you want by Sunday. (Occasionally there are problems with my computer playing nice with your materials and I would like a full day to work that out.)

 

 

Each of your talks should be a ‘story’.  It should contain the physics that explains how and why the story is a correct one and it should contain some observations, i.e. data that support the correctness of the story.  Pretend you are telling a friend or roommate the story and they keep interrupting by saying “ I don’t believe that could happen, it is just too outrageous”.  So you have to point to data and/or use logical reasoning to convince them.

 

If you can’t find an explanation of the physics you can e-mail me.

 

As usual, those of you presenting will be asked to write self-evaluation on your own talk [but NOT the other talk on your day].

 

Those of you NOT presenting will be asked to write and email me a summary of each talk with a comment on the talks you have heard.

 

Groups

 

 

1                                                          2                                                           3

Conor                                                  Mark                                                    Brooke

Heather                                              Rosie                                                   Alex D

James                                                 Eva                                                       William

                                                                                                                        

4                                                          5                                                           6

Katelin                                               Meghan                                               Arushi

Jack                                                     Sahil                                                    Alex K

                                                                                                                         Sellars