The Physics Classroom: My Eureka moment

in Proof of Brain2 months ago

The first time I came across the word eureka was in my secondary school days during one of our weekly physics classes. Physics happened to be one of the subjects I loathed the most back then. But as a science student, I had no option but to trudge along in trying to understand, if only just enough to pass it. However, this particular class was perhaps the most interesting class I have ever had in physics.

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By Samuel Landete on flickr

Good morning class! The physics teacher entered and greeted us as usual.

Good morning sir! The class chorused.

The tone of the greeting by the teacher gave off an indication that the class for the day would be different. While I was still wondering what trick the teacher might have up his sleeve this time, he truncated my thought:

Today, we are going to talk less about physics and more of a story.

Did I just hear a story? Please bring it on! I readjusted my seat to pay proper attention. As a 14-year-old teenager, reading or listening to stories was one of my best hobbies. I could finish a 500-page novel within 24 hours and can do so without batting an eyelid throughout the night.

There was once a powerful king in the old Greek empire who decided to make a crown for himself. He took out a good quantity of gold and gave it to one of the most famous blacksmiths in the empire to make him a crown like no other. The goldsmith accepted the offer and brought the final product within a few days.

The king assessed the final product and felt some tinges of discontentment. Something seemed amiss to him but he could not just pick it. He thanked the goldsmith, paid him his due but kept the discontentment thought to himself so as not to sound ungrateful.

After a few days of deep thought and a strong feeling of being cheated, the king decided to give the assignment of finding out what is wrong with the crown to Archimedes who happened to be one of the greatest scientists around back then. The king felt that the crown is substandard when compared to the amount of gold he gave to the goldsmith. Archimedes accepted the challenge, even though he was not certain how to go about it.

Archimedes pondered on how to go about the task for days without arriving at any obvious solution. Then an inspiration came to him while trying to get into the bathtub in his house one afternoon. The tub was filled to the brim with water which kept on splashing to the floor the more he tried to inundate his body in the water. All of a sudden, he ran out of his house and into the street shouting Eureka! Eureka! I have found it!!

Onlookers initially thought Archimedes was running amok until he found his way to the palace of the king and explained himself. Here is where the physics comes in -

The entire class groaned in discontentment. We were all deeply immersed in the story we forgot that there would be a physics part to it as stated earlier. We all wanted to know where the story would end.

The teacher continued.

Archimedes discovered that the more he inserted his body into a tub filled with water, the more the water that was displaced. He reasoned that if he can measure the volume of water displaced from the tub by his full body, it should equate to the volume of his body - a thought that is technically and scientifically true.

Archimedes also knew that people or objects of the same weight can have different volumes. For example, 1 g of stone and 1 g of cotton wool would displace different volumes of water from a vessel filled to the brim with water. This is also a truism.

Following these thoughts, Archimedes knew that if he knows the weight of the original gold given to the goldsmith, he can take the same quantity of gold, determine the amount of water it will displace from a filled vessel, and then compare it to the amount of water that would be displaced from the same filled vessel by the newly-designed crown.

At this junction, the entire class gave a round of applause. Everyone now understands why Archimedes was so excited that he had to run around like a mad man. The manner with which he was able to solve what seemed like a complex case deserves to be celebrated.

What Archimedes worked with to solve the case was the density of objects. The density of objects is given as:

Density = mass/volume .............. (1)

Of course, the mass of an object is directly proportional to its weight. From the equation (1) above:

the volume of an object = mass/density ............(2)

From equation (2), it means that the more the density of an object, the lesser the volume. In other words, the volume of an object is inversely proportional to its density. This means that an object of 1 kg with a density of 0.5 will have more volume than another object of the same weight but with a density of 1.

Ok. So the king was suspicious that the crown he was presented has been adulterated. Archimedes took the same amount of gold given to the goldsmith and determined the volume of water it displaced. He then determined the volume of water displaced by the crown itself and found out that it displaced more water than the gold. Upon further investigation, including the quizzing of the goldsmith, they found out that the gold was adulterated with silver during the preparation of the crown.

This is as simple as physics can get, I thought deeply. If only every topic would be explained by storytelling. I was reveling in the spur of the moment when the physics teacher's voice jostled me back to life.

Any question on density?

I have never asked a question in physics class because I have never been interested enough. I decided to ask one this time:

Sir, what eventually happened to the goldsmith?

Go and find out as your assignment. The teacher responded.

Not really the answer I wanted to hear but it did not matter. I more than satisfied with the class and I grinned all day.

It was my own Eureka moment.

References


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I could finish a 500-page novel within 24 hours and can do so without batting an eyelid throughout the night.

If I may ask, what were you doing in science class? 🧐

Archimedes pondered on how to go about the task for days without arriving at any obvious solution.

The word, "ponder" made me remember my Engineering Mechanics

He usually ask us to ponder over unfinished classwork and assignment.

So all my friends refer to him as "ponder on it" .. lol

Well it's great that your Eureka moments was one that you enjoyed your physics class and it turned out it was a Eureka class

But I am wondering did you do science, physics or you later went to the Arts? because I know you still love reading


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If I may ask, what were you doing in science class? 🧐

Are you jealous she has interests in novels? Lol. Allow her to explore more novels. At least for the first time I'm seeing a science student so interested in novels😁 unlike the types I had back there in school who were only killing themselves with calculations and more etc. I know you're one of them so you're not excluded lol. You need to start reading novels too @edystringz leave calculations for a while🏃🏃🏃


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Hahaha

They haven't told you yet, have they?

No, have you seen my library?

I have more novels than you do.... Hehehhe

I started reading novels since I was 7 years old, and up till today, I haven't stopped

I can finish a 500 pages of novel in 1 day

I would been in the arts or commercial class, if Mathematics didn't steal my heart ☺️


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Okay, okay! Maybe I was wrong lol. I think I just messed with the wrong mathematician gotta find my way🏃🏃🏃.


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If I may ask, what were you doing in science class?

Science students were considered brilliant back then while their counterparts were seen as subpar. Not sure I really had a penchant for science but hey, I was brilliant.

The word, "ponder" made me remember my Engineering Mechanics
He usually ask us to ponder over unfinished classwork and assignment.
So all my friends refer to him as "ponder on it" .. lol

We use to call our biology teacher 'dancing can' because of the way he gesticulates while teaching

It was really an eureka moment in an eureka class :)


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I was just reading my head to ache. The physics explanations sound like magic, like when Harry Potter making those magical chants.
I don't know how you guys cope in those classes. Anyways, we are not called for the same purpose.

Its worth being you eureka moment, keep pondering. Heheh!!


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Harry porter indeed. I only got to understand most of the physics during my undergraduate days (the fear of carryover was the beginning of my wisdom). That pondering assignment? we never submitted it and he never asked.


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Wow! I was even enjoying your own class already . Didn't want it to end I wanted to keep reading lol.

Did I just hear a story? Please bring it on! I readjusted my seat to pay proper attention. As a 14-year-old teenager, reading or listening to stories was one of my best hobbies. I could finish a 500-page novel within 24 hours and can do so without batting an eyelid throughout the night.

I love stories too but I'm surprised a science student is so into stories. Back then when I was in high school too if I ever mentioned novels to any of my science friends, they'd sigh and walk away. They told me novels and stories were boring but I should bring on calculations and theories and they'll give me listening ears so maybe you're just the first ever😁.

Go and find out as your assignment.

Hahaha! Your teacher was funny and also a good one you know. I love teachers that are good at using stories to make their students understand a topic better. If I had such a physics teacher back then I should have been a science student but then the physics teacher of my time really sucked!. Nice post for that I'll share my pizza with you🥰 !PIZZA


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 2 months ago 

One of my favorite classes in university was medical parasitology.

The professor taught via stories and they were memorable ones. It made the textbook information easier to remember.

When we think about it, there's a reason why humans had oral traditions for the longest time.

Yup. I agree. Stories are a good way to teach. It can make a huge difference, especially in kids.


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I love stories too but I'm surprised a science student is so into stories. Back then when I was in high school too if I ever mentioned novels to any of my science friends, they'd sigh and walk away. They told me novels and stories were boring but I should bring on calculations and theories and they'll give me listening ears so maybe you're just the first ever.

I love stories even up till today. I probably consume more stories and scifis here on the hive blockchain than any other user.

Hahaha! Your teacher was funny and also a good one you know. I love teachers that are good at using stories to make their students understand a topic better. If I had such a physics teacher back then I should have been a science student but then the physics teacher of my time really sucked!. Nice post for that I'll share my pizza with you

Yea. We science students are considered boring and rightly so, to be honest. Especially those of us in natural sciences.


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I love stories even up till today. I probably consume more stories and scifis here on the hive blockchain than any other user

Interesting! I love that.

Yea. We science students are considered boring and rightly so, to be honest. Especially those of us in natural sciences

Boring? Far from it, I love science students 🥰


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@gentleshaid! I sent you a slice of $PIZZA on behalf of @teknon.

Learn more about $PIZZA Token at hive.pizza (6/10)

The ingenuity of teaching is being able to capture the attention of your students with a story or analogy that encapsulates the subject matter of what you're about to teach them. Your teacher did that very well while teaching about Density of objects and it's no surprising that you still very much remember that day and the topic so well even after all these years.


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A wise teacher always tries to capture the student's imagination! Apparently this one succeeded :)


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Hehehe! ...
Smiles
I assimilate quickly when teaching is mixed up with stories.
Your teacher must have been a very funny person and a good one I think.
I fell in love with physics not because my teacher was good at stories but he was handsome 😉
So I paid extra attention while he teaches.


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Lol.... 😅. I'm handsome too BTW, pay special attention to me 😝

Oh my goodness! Someone was drooling over her teacher in school 😁.


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Hi, @gentleshaid excellent run with the story. Eureka. Many times reaching out to listeners and/or readers is challenging and it gives satisfaction when we see the fruits. Thank you.

During my Physics classes, I never had a eureka moment. However, I've had many eureka moments in some English and Science classes.


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