Einstein's Theory of General Relativity
Over 100 years ago, Einstein's theory of General Relativity revolutionized the way we think about space and time. Rather than being static, he discovered that space-time is a malleable fabric that can be stretched and bent to form gravitational lenses, black holes, wormholes, and other exotic phenomena. In this session, we’ll explore the mind-bending consequences of this theory using a simple experiment. We will also give a tour of our observatory and telescopes, located on the roof of the Physics building at the University of Toronto. Weather permitting, we will be able to observe the sun through one of our telescopes with a solar filter, which will allow us to see sunspots and solar prominences.
When Life Gives you Lemons, you do Nanoscience!
Chemistry is utilized on every scale of life from what foods we choose to eat to how we generate and transform energy. A current exciting field of application is in nanotechnology, where everything from television displays to medical treatments are being innovated on through the bizarre, unexpected world of the nanoscale! In this experiment, we will create our very own nanomaterials known as quantum dots utilizing some unassuming materials and some clever chemistry. These nanometer sized materials (almost 100,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair!) while invisible to the naked eye, can glow different colors that span the entire rainbow. They aren’t just pretty to look at though, and while exploring some of their interesting properties we will also test out some of their applications to learn a bit about how we utilize the nano world!
Introduction to Computer Vision
How can you intelligently find all pictures in which your dog appears? How can you find all pictures in which you are laughing? Can we make cars smart, e.g., can the car drive you to school? This lecture is an introduction to image understanding, the subdiscipline of artificial intelligence that tries to make the computers "see". We will survey a variety of interesting computer vision problems and techniques.
Seashells: Antacids of the Ocean - in this experiment we react antacid tablets with weak acid to demonstrate how the acidification of the oceans affects marine life such as coral reefs.
Starburst Rock Cycle - in this experiment we use starburst candy to simulate rock forming processes. The goes from the weathering of older rocks to form news ones, the alteration of these rocks at different pressures and temperatures and starting the process again by melting them.
Water Filtration Challenge - in this experiment we provide materials and some loose instructions on water filtration then the student develop their own water filter. We then go through which work better than others and why.
Diamond exploration - We will pan for indicator minerals to learn how people look for diamonds in Canada's north.
Mathematics is all around us and in everything we do. Join us in this interactive session where we investigate mathematical patterns that arise in nature and learn to describe our observations using mathematical terminology. In particular, we will explore the field of "combinatorics", an area of mathematics concerned with properties of finite structures. One major goal for the session is to encourage the development of valuable skills in problem solving and critical thinking.
Using Physics and Chemistry to Measure the Atmosphere
Although the term climate change has become commonplace in our everyday language, few people actually know how climate-related data are measured and analyzed. This session will introduce you to a variety of instruments that make climate-related measurements of the atmosphere.
You will participate in a series of climate-science activities including investigating cloud formation and the chemistry of aerosols by creating clouds in the laboratory; learning how the Arctic atmosphere is being studied; and exploring the electromagnetic spectrum and the physics of light through spectroscopy by constructing a spectroscope and examining the spectra of various light sources.
Scientific Computing in Physics
Scientific computing is a major tool in physics research. In this workshop, students will learn about computer simulations of physical systems. How does one computerize the laws of physics? How does one model collisions? How do the approximations in computer models compare with reality? Simple models of projectile motion and
School of the Environment
COBWEB Simulation Program
This session provides students with an introduction to complexity using interactive activities and the COBWEB simulation program. The interactive activities are used to introduce a conceptual framework for discussion complexity (attractors, resilience, collapse, sensitivity to initial conditions, self-organization, agent-based modelling, game theory). These interactive activities are drawn from branches of mathematics (number theory and game theory) as well as physics and computer science. COBWEB has been used to represent a range of systems from neuroscience to ecology to geography to sociology. We will use some of these systems to explore how complexity can be used to understand the behaviour of a large number of systems. COBWEB also has built in modules for game theory (Prisoner’s Dilemma) and spatial probability. Students will get an introduction to complexity, simulation and experimental design. They will also be able to obtain the software at no cost.