1) Analyze the ways in which your life would change if transistors and microchips were not a part of our everyday lives.
2) Identify 10 objects in your home that use semiconductors. What other kinds of materials with special electrical properties are found in all of these 10 objects (list at least one per item)?
3) Many question the ability of the Department of Energy to do the good science needed to ensure that Yucca Mountain is suitable and developed appropriately. Detail the "question" that many have.
4) List three medical technologies that rely on the physics of elementary particles? What are the benefits of these noninvasive procedures?
5) Describe the movement of the Earth based upon the perceived change in positions of the stars.
6) How can we talk about the evolution of stars over billions of years when human beings have been observing stars for only a few thousand years?
7) Some advances in our knowledge have been made possible through better equipment, such as Hubble's discoveries using the 100-inch Hooker telescope at Mount Wilson. What other major discoveries in cosmology have relied on improvements in existing apparatus?
8) Was the formation of Earth unique, or was it similar to the processes which created all the planets in the solar system?
9) The temperature of Earth's core is estimated to be > 5,000 degrees Celsius. Is the core temperature of a planet like Jupiter hotter or colder? Why? Does the distance from the Sun affect the core temperature?
10) How does Clyde Tombaugh's work fit into the scientific method?
11) Describe the impact of adjustment to stress (strain) on the surface of the Earth.
12) If there were a serious (8 on the Richter scale) earthquake in California, how might it affect Washington? How might that affect Idaho and Wyoming?
13) On what tectonic plate do you live? How many adjacent plates are there? What kinds of boundaries do you find to the north, south, east, and west? In which direction are these plates moving?
14) Geology has been called an integrated science, because it calls on several scientific disciplines to help explain features and processes of Earth. Explain how geologists have used other sciences to answer the following questions:
a. How old is a piece of rock?
b. How is heat transferred from Earth's deep interior to the surface?
c. How does Earth's magnetic field change over time?
d. What is the structure of Earth's interior?
e. What is the topography of the seafloor?
15) Describe three places where you might find volcanic rocks forming today. Describe three places where you could watch sedimentary rocks forming today.
Where would you have to go to watch metamorphic rocks form?
16) How would our weather patterns be affected if Earth stopped rotating?
17) One of the problems of understanding the workings of ecosystems is that it is not possible to hold everything constant and change only one variable. Why is this true? What effects might this have on the interpretation of observations or experiments?
18) How might the law of unintended consequences play a role in the effects of legislation to limit greenhouse gas emissions? What industries will be affected? How might this affect your daily life?
19) What are the non-living components of an ecosystem or environment? How do the non-living components limit the living components?
20) How might changes in climate affect the relative distribution of organisms in an ecosystem? Provide an example.
This solution contains descriptive answers to a wide range of questions related to 'physics around us' along with examples.