Physics for James Lick High School

UPDATE:  We have been informed that James Lick High School will be offering Physics during the 2018-19 academic year!

We, the members of the Northern California and Nevada Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers (NCNAAPT), are concerned about the inequity of physics education at James Lick High School for the 2018-2019 school year. Recently Principal David Porter decided to cut all physics classes for 2018-2019 at James Lick High School. Physics education opportunities in the East Side Union High School District will be unequal if the physics programs at James Lick High School are cut. While not every James Lick High School student is interested in physics, each student deserves the same opportunity to learn physics as peers at other East Side Union High School District high schools. To deny only the students at James Lick High School the opportunity to take physics is unilaterally limiting their future opportunities. As a professional society of physics teachers, we were appalled to hear that restricting students’ opportunities was even considered. Continue reading “Physics for James Lick High School”

Pluto New Horizon Mission Tweets

You can see the latest developments for the Pluto Hew Horizons mission. Their most recent tweets appear below (they make take a few seconds to appear, and you can scroll down to see older ones).

“What is color?” The 2014 Flame Challenge

The Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University is challenging scientists to take part in the 2014 Flame Challenge and answer a vibrant question asked by 11-year-olds from around the country:

What is Color?

The Flame Challenge is an international contest started by Alan Alda that asks scientists to communicate complex science in ways that would interest and enlighten an 11-year-old.

If you are a scientist, or a teacher of 11 year olds, join the fun!

The Flame Challenge

Next Generation Science Standards, second draft version

The second draft of the Next Generation Science Standards have come and gone (comment period was in January 2013). The January 2013 draft version has been removed from the official website, but you can still find it here.

Continue reading “Next Generation Science Standards, second draft version”

Colloquim at Sac State: Measuring the Universe with Gravitational Lenses

The following colloquium is free and open to all.

Dr. Chris Fassnacht, UC Davis, will present his lecture, “Measuring the Universe with Gravitational Lenses” on Thursday, February 11, 2010, at 4pm in Mendocino Hall 1015, Sacramento State University.  This lecture is free and open to the public.

Chris Fassnacht received his AB degree from Harvard College and immediately afterward joined the Peace Corps, where he served as a secondary school math and science teacher in Ghana, West Africa.   After returning, he received a PhD from Caltech.  He held postdoctoral fellowships at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Socorro, NM and the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, MD.  He is currently an associate professor in the physics department at UC Davis, where he has been for the last seven years.

Prof. Fassnacht’s research involves using gravitational lenses to measure the rate at which the Universe is expanding and how galaxies such as the Milky Way are assembled.

Physics & Astronomy Colloquium
Location: Mendocino Hall 1015<>

Thursday, February 11, 2010
4:00 PM – 5:20 PM

Title Url:
Department: Physics & Astronomy
Contact: Heidi Yamazaki<>
(916) 278-6518

LCROSS lunar impact videos and images on the web

Here’s a video:

a mid-infrared (MIR) image showing the flash of the Centaur impact:
and an image of an even larger impact we performed  about 40 years ago: the Apollo 14 booster stage for calibrating Apollo 12’s seismometers:
And NASA’s LCROSS page:

Jupiter pummeled, leaving bruise the size of the Pacific Ocean

By Robert Sanders, UCB Media Relations | 21 July 2009

Complete article here:

infrared image of Jupiter taken with Keck IIThe scar from the probable impact appeared July 19 in Jupiter’s southern hemisphere, and has grown to a size greater than the extent of the Pacific Ocean. This infrared image taken with Keck II on July 20 shows the new feature observed on Jupiter and its relative size compared to Earth. (Paul Kalas ,UCB; Michael Fitzgerald, LLNL/UCLA; Franck Marchis, SETI Institute/UCB; James Graham, UCB)

BERKELEY — Something slammed into Jupiter in the last few days, creating a dark bruise about the size of the Pacific Ocean.

The bruise was noticed by an amateur astronomer on Sunday, July 19. University of California, Berkeley, astronomer Paul Kalas took advantage of previously scheduled observing time on the Keck II telescope in Hawaii to image the blemish in the early morning hours of Monday, July 20. The near infrared image showed a bright spot in Jupiter’s southern hemisphere, where the impact had propelled reflective particles high into the relatively clear stratosphere.

In visible light, the bruise appears dark against the bright surface of Jupiter.

The observation made with the Keck II telescope marks only the second time astronomers have seen the results of an impact on the planet. The first collision occurred exactly 15 years ago, between July 16 and 22, 1994, when more than 20 fragments of comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 collided with Jupiter.

Complete article here: