27.08.2013

What does the life number 8 mean

New ideas in science sometimes spring from unexpected findings, and they usually lead to new investigations. Students will be aware that there may be more than one good way to interpret a given set of findings. To study the properties of some natural phenomena, it is necessary to rely on inferences drawn from indirect observation. If your students read the essay as an in-class activity and you have already led them in a discussion of it, take a little time here to reinforce its key point, namely that Röntgen's remarkable discovery gave scientists a new way to examine things that are normally hidden from view and pointed them toward a wholly new and productive line of inquiry into the structure of matter. In the course of this discussion, emphasize the value of inference in scientific investigation, particularly for those investigations involving phenomena that are inaccessible using more direct observational techniques. Alternatively, you can make a three-sided, free-standing screen either by creasing a large sheet of heavy board, or connecting three individual panels with tape. Background information on Henri Becquerel and his discovery is provided in the reading selection entitled, "Becquerel's Accident," which is intended as a homework reading assignment for your students. Thorium-232 atoms that find their way into soft human tissue (lungs or digestive tract, for example) will continue to emit alpha particles resulting in damage to the surrounding tissue. The observable effects of radioactivity suggested both new questions and new methods to scientists investigating the basic structure of matter.
Scientific knowledge is subject to modification as new information challenges prevailing theories and as a new theory leads to looking at old observations in a new way.
Investigations are conducted for different reasons, including to explore new phenomena, to check on previous results, to test how well a theory predicts, and to compare different theories. Hypotheses are widely used in science for choosing what data to pay attention to and what additional data to seek, and for guiding the interpretation of the data (both new and previously available). Important contributions to the advancement of science, mathematics, and technology have been made by different kinds of people, in different cultures, at different times. You can drive this point home by scanning a few of the "sandwiches" with a Geiger counter. As your students listen in on this brief encounter, ask them to look for similarities and differences between these two women.  What do Marie Curie and Margaret Huggins want to know more about? How does this article compare with a similar story about a modern feat of daring, or technological first?
Why are fire drills so important in schools?  Why is walking out of a burning building safer than running?  When the lights go down in a theater, why do the exit signs always stay lit up?
Despite obstacles, women have pursued their scientific interests and made valuable contributions. Until recently, women and racial minorities, because of restrictions on their education and employment opportunities, were essentially left out of much of the formal work of the science establishment; the remarkable few who overcame those obstacles were even then likely to have their work disregarded by the science establishment.


No matter who does science and mathematics or invents things, or when or where they did it, the knowledge and technology that result can eventually become available to everyone in the world. Progress in science and invention depends heavily on what else is happening in society, and history often depends on scientific and technological developments.
Generalizations about how the scientific enterprise operates would be empty without concrete examples; some episodes in the history of the scientific endeavor are of surpassing significance to our cultural heritage--milestones of development of all thought in Western civilization. Students will know why curiosity, honest, openness, and skepticism are so highly regarded in science and how they are incorporated into the way science is carried out; they will exhibit those traits in their own lives and value them in others. Students will participate in group discussions on scientific topics by restating or summarizing accurately what others have said, asking for clarification or elaboration, and expressing alternative positions. Ten brief letters on the subject of radium from William Huggins, with occasional remarks by Margaret Huggins, to such notable scientists as Joseph Larmor, Arthur Schuster, and George Ellery Hale. What did Angeline Hall and Isobel Gill contribute to their husbands' astronomical research? How do you think Margaret became interested in astronomy?  What evidence did you use to draw your conclusion?
What is the "world on fire" that Charles Pritchard is referring to?  What would we call such an event today?
How do you think William Huggins became interested in astronomy?  What evidence did you use to draw your conclusion? Do you think William Huggins liked astronomy?  What evidence did you use to draw your conclusion? In his letter dated July 19, 1903, why does William Huggins say he is having a problem comparing the spectrum of radium glow with that of helium?
How does William Huggins describe the difference between the German and French samples of radium bromide? How does William Huggins describe the appearance of the surface of a radium sample in his letter dated October 28, 1903?
How do you think Marie Curie feels about husbands and wives working together on scientific research projects?  What evidence did you use to support your conclusion?
How do you think Marie became interested in science?  What evidence did you use to support your conclusion?
Why was it unfortunate that Marie was interested in continuing her studies after high school? Why did Pierre Curie give the lecture on radium at the Royal Institution even though Marie did most of the research? How do you think Pierre Curie became interested in science?  What evidence did you use to draw your conclusions?


Why did Pierre Curie refuse the award of the French Legion of Honor for his important scientific work? How did the French government provide for Marie Curie and her two daughters after Pierre's death?
How did Pierre Curie describe the experience of Marie Curie after being exposed to radium for only a half an hour?
Why does Johnstone Stoney describe radium as a mystery in his letter to the London Times published March 30, 1903? How does the London Times (June 20, 1903) describe Pierre Curie's talk at the Royal Institution? Do you think people understood the risks of exposure to radium at that time?  What evidence did you use to draw your conclusions?
The "'Heads' or 'Tails'?" activity will give your students a little personal experience with the basic challenges of describing and predicting events governed by the laws of chance.
Scientists search for patterns in the natural phenomena they observe to enable them to begin asking productive questions about it. Mathematics provides a precise language for science and technology--to describe objects and events, to characterize relationships between variables, and to argue logically.
Students will organize information in simple tables and graphs and identify relationships they reveal. Students will read simple tables and graphs produced by others and describe in words what they show. The graphic display of numbers may help to show patterns such as trends, varying rates of change, gaps or clusters.
A single example can never prove that something is true, but sometimes a single example can prove that something is not true. A mathematical model may give insight about how something really works or may fit observations very well without any intuitive meaning.
To further drive the point home, take out a penny and ask your students to estimate their chance of correctly predicting the outcome of a single coin toss. If 226.05 grams of radium contains 6.02 x 1023 atoms, how many atoms were in the one-tenth gram of radium that Marie Curie isolated?




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