Format for solving the Weekly Physics Problem:
Use word processing, spreadsheet...
Remember Friday Problems are an individual project, you should NOT be
consulting with anyone except the teacher!
Step 1. DESCRIBE the problem
Explore the problem with words and with diagram(s).
Show that you understand what is given, what assumptions
are made, and what you do not need. Describe the problem in your own words
such that you show that YOU understand the conditions of the problem.
- Step 2. PLAN your solution
Explain the plan in words. Refer to whatever skills and/or
equations you are going to use to solve the problem. Show that you
understand the kinds of knowledge that will be useful in solving the
- Step 3. SOLVE the problem
Implement the solution to the problem. Place the numerical
values into the appropriate relationships and produce the final answer.
Show these steps with the proper symbols.
- Step 4. CHECK the solution
Use a different mechanism to check your problem. The
simple "makes sense" mode is not enough generally to check your logic,
neither is simply using the same formula and working backwards which
checks only your arithmetic skills.
- Step 5. EXTEND the problem
Write a new part to the problem. Based on the information
given or assume a new piece of information, invent a new problem that goes
with the one given.
Sample Friday Problem 1
All Friday Problems are due at 8 am on Friday and are to be done following
the format given to you and word processed. Please remember they are an
individual activity, NOT a group project.
- Estimate the speed of 32 grams oxygen molecules at room
(20íC and 102000 N/m2) occupying 0.024 m3.
- The same volume of .002 kg of hydrogen under the same
- From your answer to a, estimate the average speed of nitrogen in the
- What is the speed for oxygen if the pressure is doubled?
Friday Problem 2All Friday Problems are due at 8 am on Friday and are
to be done following
the format given to you. Please remember they are an individual activity,
NOT a group project.
You are riding on an elevator on the way to your eighteenth floor
apartment. The elevator is accelerating upwards at 5.40 m/s/s. Beside you
is the box containing your new TV set, box and contents that have a mass
of 36.0 kg. While the elevator is accelerating upwards, you push
horizontally on the box to slide it at a constant speed toward the
elevator door. If the coefficient of kinetic friction between the box and
the floor is 0.34, what magnitude of force must you apply? (Draw a force
Sample Friday Problem 3
The Holiday Mobile
This work will replace your Friday Problem this week.
The GOAL of this project is for you to design and build a balanced hanging
mobile using the physical relationships of a system in Equilibrium .
You will, individually, build a mobile that will consist of at least 3
levels and at least 3 objects. Only one of the hanging objects may be
symmetrical. All others must not have their center of gravity at their
center of their geometry. The more interestingly they are hung the better.
Choose objects that of interest to you. Because various religious and
secular holidays are approaching, you may wish to choose one of those
The mobile is due on _________________ Also due is a paper showing
calculations done to determine or to illustrate the BALANCED hanging
Massachusetts Academy for
Mathematics and Science
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Last modified: October 19, 1999