Wednesday, February 11, 2009

powers of ten

11.26.08. Sometimes the best way to get a sense of the size of things in this universe is to take it one order of magnitude at a time. Students watched FSU's "Secret Worlds: The Universe Within" java tutorial to get a sense of what objects exist at what lengthscale (see also the American Museum of Natural History's "Scales of the Universe" exhibit). Students then got practice in converting cumbersome decimals to scientific notation, and writing tiny or huge length measurements in more appropriate units such as nanometers or lightyears.