288,365 research outputs found

    Shaping Attitudes Toward Science in an Introductory Astronomy Class

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    At many universities, astronomy is a popular way for non-science majors to fulfill a general education requirement. Because general-education astronomy may be the only college-level science course taken by these students, it is the last chance to shape the science attitudes of these future journalists, teachers, politicians, and voters. I report on an attempt to measure and induce changes in science attitudes in my general-education astronomy course. I describe construction of the attitude survey, classroom activities designed to influence attitudes, and give numerical results indicating a significant improvement. In contrast, the literature on attitudes in introductory physics courses generally reports stagnation or decline. I briefly comment on some plausible explanations for this difference.Comment: v2 includes a copy of the surve

    High Energy Cosmic Neutrinos

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    While the general principles of high-energy neutrino detection have been understood for many years, the deep, remote geographical locations of suitable detector sites have challenged the ingenuity of experimentalists, who have confronted unusual deployment, calibration, and robustness issues. Two high energy neutrino programs are now operating (Baikal and AMANDA), with the expectation of ushering in an era of multi-messenger astronomy, and two Mediterranean programs have made impressive progress. The detectors are optimized to detect neutrinos with energies of the order of 1-10 TeV, although they are capable of detecting neutrinos with energies of tens of MeV to greater than PeV. This paper outlines the interdisciplinary scientific agenda, which span the fields of astronomy, particle physics, and cosmic ray physics, and describes ongoing worldwide experimental programs to realize these goals.Comment: 15 pages, 9 figures, talk presented at the Nobel Symposium on Particle Physics and the Universe, Sweden, August 199

    The supernova: A stellar spectacle

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    The life of a star, the supernova, related objects and their importance in astronomy and science in general are discussed. Written primarily for science teachers of secondary school chemistry, physics, and earth sciences, the booklet contains a glossary, reference sources, suggested topics for discussion, and projects for individual or group assignment

    Experimental Tests of General Relativity

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    Einstein's general theory of relativity is the standard theory of gravity, especially where the needs of astronomy, astrophysics, cosmology and fundamental physics are concerned. As such, this theory is used for many practical purposes involving spacecraft navigation, geodesy, and time transfer. Here I review the foundations of general relativity, discuss recent progress in the tests of relativistic gravity in the solar system, and present motivations for the new generation of high-accuracy gravitational experiments. I discuss the advances in our understanding of fundamental physics that are anticipated in the near future and evaluate the discovery potential of the recently proposed gravitational experiments.Comment: revtex4, 30 pages, 10 figure

    A GeoWall with Physics and Astronomy Applications

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    A GeoWall is a passive stereoscopic projection system that can be used by students, teachers, and researchers for visualization of the structure and dynamics of three-dimensional systems and data. The type of system described here adequately provides 3-D visualization in natural color for large or small groups of viewers. The name “GeoWall” derives from its initial development to visualize data in the geosciences.1 An early GeoWall system was developed by Paul Morin at the electronic visualization laboratory at the University of Minnesota and was applied in an introductory geology course in spring of 2001. Since that time, several stereoscopic media, which are applicable to introductory-level physics and astronomy classes, have been developed and released into the public domain. In addition to the GeoWall\u27s application in the classroom, there is considerable value in its use as part of a general science outreach program. In this paper we briefly describe the theory of operation of stereoscopic projection and the basic necessary components of a GeoWall system. Then we briefly describe how we are using a GeoWall as an instructional tool for the classroom and informal astronomy education and in research. Finally, we list sources for several of the free software media in physics and astronomy available for use with a GeoWall system

    Gravitational Waves Astronomy: a cornerstone for gravitational theories

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    Realizing a gravitational wave (GW) astronomy in next years is a great challenge for the scientific community. By giving a significant amount of new information, GWs will be a cornerstone for a better understanding of gravitational physics. In this paper we re-discuss that the GW astronomy will permit to solve a captivating issue of gravitation. In fact, it will be the definitive test for Einstein's general relativity (GR), or, alternatively, a strong endorsement for extended theories of gravity (ETG).Comment: To appear in Proceedings of the Workshop "Cosmology, the Quantum Vacuum and Zeta Functions" for the celebration of Emilio Elizalde's sixtieth birthday, Barcelona, March 8-10, 201