Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Absolute Zero? Here on Earth? That's cold baby!

how close to absolute zero are we on Earth?

Wolfgang Ketterle holds the record for creating the coldest temperature on Earth...

Where's the coldest spot in the universe? Not on the moon, where the temperature plunges to a mere minus 378 Fahrenheit. Not even in deepest outer space, which has an estimated background temperature of about minus 455°F. As far as scientists can tell, the lowest temperatures ever attained were recently observed right here on earth.  Wolfgang Ketterle's lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge currently holds the record—at least according to Guinness World Records 2008—for lowest temperature: 810 trillionths of a degree F above absolute zero. Ketterle and his colleagues accomplished that feat in 2003 while working with a cloud—about a thousandth of an inch across—of sodium molecules trapped in place by magnets.

Ketterle's achievement came out of his pursuit of an entirely new form of matter called a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC). The condensates are not standard gases, liquids or even solids. They form when a cloud of atoms—sometimes millions or more—all enter the same quantum state and behave as one. Albert Einstein and the Indian physicist Satyendra Bose predicted in 1925 that scientists could generate such matter by subjecting atoms to temperatures approaching absolute zero. Seventy years later, Ketterle, working at M.I.T., and almost simultaneously, Carl Wieman, working at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and Eric Cornell of the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder created the first Bose-Einstein condensates. The three promptly won a Nobel Prize. Ketterle's team is using BECs to study basic properties of matter, such as compressibility, and better understand weird low-temperature phenomena such as superfluidity. Ultimately, Ketterle, like many physicists, hopes to discover new forms of matter that could act as superconductors at room temperature, which would revolutionize how humans use energy. For most Nobel Prize winners, the honor caps a long career. But for Ketterle, who was 44 years old when he was awarded his, the creation of BECs opened a new field that he and his colleagues will be exploring for decades.

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Monday, September 30, 2013

Large Hadron Collider takes a break!

Students watched videos on the Large Hadron Collider experiment of 2008 as well as learned about the Higgs Boson Field and Particle.  We also studied the neutrino - a small, massless particle that is moving through us right now!

The 27-km LHC tunnel holding the circumference accelerator ring of superconducting magnets, is pictured

Take a tour of the LHC

Higgs Boson

Monday, September 9, 2013


Birthday Boy Aaron Garver and Senior Valerie Lau prepare to run....

Still working on it.....

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Tigers Womp the Warriors - SPIRIT CLUB PICS

The Tigers and Stat Girls Shake their jugs!

Shawn, Murray, and Jon Jon cheer for the touchdown!

Hunter and Zack Attack keep that super spirit up!

Friday Night Light and the Spirit Flag of Death - GO PIRATES!!


SPIRIT CLUB at the Cumberland WIN!!!

Spirit Leaders Aleah, Taylor, and Adrienne!!


Hey Tyson!  Hey What?!  Introduce Yourself!  NO WAY!  Introduce Yourself!  OK!

The Pennant Of Spirit Leads Us to VICTORY!!


Kaitlin and Kennedy have SPIRIT - how 'bout you?!

Murray and Shawn - I actually like them both a lot....

Monday, May 20, 2013

AP Chemistry Ions sheet for quiz

Name of Ion:
Symbol/Charge of Ion:
SO3 -2
SO4 -2
Hydrogen sulfate = bisulfate
HSO4 -
PO4 -3
Dihydrogen phosphate
H2PO4 -
Hydrogen phosphate
HPO4 -2
NO2 -
NO3 -
NH4 +
SCN or NCS -
CO3 -2
Hydrogen carbonate = bicarbonate
HCO3 -
BO3 -3
CrO4 -2
Cr2O7 -2
HMnO4 -
C2O4 -2
NH2 -
OH -
CN -
C2H3O2 or CH3COO -
O2  -2
ClO -
ClO2 -
ClO3 -
ClO4 -
S2O3 -2
BrO -
BrO3 -
BrO4 -
IO2 -
IO3 -
IO4 -

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Advanced Chemistry runs a Nuclear Reactor!!!

nuclear simulator game

Advanced Chemistry students ran a simulated nuclear reactor after learning about the events of Three Mile Island and Chernobyl.  They tried to keep the reactor running without melting down while maintaining a power output of at least 1000 kW.
5th hour Logan McDaniel won a smarty pants for his class, running the reactor for 259 days with an average output of 1256 kW.  Next was Bryce Markins with 232 days at 1246 kW.  Finally, John John Underwood had 159 days at 1037 kW.  Many students had difficulty keeping their power above the average 1000 kW which caused blackouts in their city.  Still others could not control their reactions and overheated, experienced a meltdown, and had to evacuate their town!!!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Mrs. Lau's 7th Graders visit PCHS Lab!!!


Winning CARTESIAN DIVERS:  Karson (overall winner), Devyn, and Caitlyn
Chemistry Club students recently helped Mrs. Lau's 7th graders create Cartesian Divers that would sink and float to the top of a water-filled pop bottle when you squeeze the bottle. The concept demonstrate Boyle's Gas Law where increasing the pressure on a gas lowers its volume. It also shows how density affects the diver's bouyancy. Amazingly, you can use a Heinz ketchup packet as a diver as well! Here are the winners of the diver races and some pics of students making them in lab.
Jazzy Bennett and Chi Chi Whitacre help Brandon Shockley make a diver...

Mary-Hunter Smittkamp works with Zach and Dakota
 MorganWorrell and Kelsey Chambers perfect their divers....
Sarah Cochran works with Katie Smith before racing her diver!

Junior Logan McDaniel works with his diver team.

Tucker Marrs, Parker, and Garrett Clark team up with PCHS Chemistsry Club members Aleah Smith and Madeline Wilson.....



Mr. Pitcher and Mrs. Brading bring their 4th graders to work with PCHS Chemistry Club students....

Mr. Pitcher and Mrs. Brading brought their 4th hour classes over to watch and participate in several electrostatic and electronic activities.  They had just completed a unit on static electricity and circuits and the labs and demos help to reinforce those lessons.

Allison Hall has a hair-raising experience!

Cheyenne Miller shows off her static electricity!

Conner Land helps Ian Crouch, Colby Kindred, and Cole Myers set up circuits while Mrs. Brading looks on.....

Kagney Kingery sets up a simple circuit.

Mikela Washburn watches over Logan Rhoads and Tamya Hudson.

Payton Block entertains the class as she touches the VandeGraff machine!

Neila Volkman shows off her electrostatic skills!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Science Club visits Crestwood School!

Mrs. Block's Advanced Chemistry classes travelled with Mrs. Wilson's Biotechnology and Anatomy students to Crestwood School last week to work with 5th graders just finishing a Genetics Unit.  Three classrooms were set up involving three activities as the 55 young scientists rotated through. The PCHS high school students worked one-on-one in a strawberry DNA extraction lab, a fingerprint analysis activity, and the creation of an imaginary creature using chromosomes.

Aaron Garver develops fingerprinting with a Crestwood student.

Hudson and Trystan extract DNA from strawberries.

Students are assigned chromosomes to create a "reebop" creature.

Students learn the difference between phenotype and genotype.

Katie Korte and Pia Twigg begin the DNA extraction process.

Kahrissa Higginbotham explains the loop, arch, and whorl or fingerprinting.

More Reebops!

Mitchell extracts the strawberry DNA.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Three-Layer Density Column Lab

CONGRATULATIONS to:Christen Swan of 7th hour had the winning column!
Chemistry I class created a three-layer density column in a test tube past week using water, food coloring, and/or sugar and salt.  They learned how to manipulate the density of each layer by changing the mass, volume, or temperature of each solution.  Of the 80 columns created, winners were picked to represent each hour and an overall winner was crowned!  Here are some of the runners-up:
3rd hour:  winner Brianna Blair with Kaitlin Neibarger and Samantha Abshier
6th hour:  winner Jake Meister with Janessa Watson and Lauren Swinford
7th hour:  OVERALLWINNER Christen Swan with Payton Stewart
8th hour:  winner Josy Sudduth with Alejandro Torres and Libby Lawson