[ASC-list] Fwd: A science communication challenge austscicomm13.bloodnok at recursor.net exclusive)

Philip Dooley phildooley at gmail.com
Tue Dec 10 03:14:56 UTC 2013


Good point adam!

If you had eyes like a cat, whcih can see infra-red radiation, you
couldnstill see yourself with the lights off, because your body heat means
you give out infra red rqdiqtion, to a cat you  glow with heat.
P
On Dec 10, 2013 2:08 PM, "Adam Selinger" <
aselinger at childrensdiscovery.org.au> wrote:

> Hey - so if "light is coming from your nose to the mirror and then back to
> your eyes..." can you still see yourself if you turn off the bathroom light
> and cover the windows?
>
> Point is that light has to *first* come from a source (sun, globe), then
> bounce off your nose (so there's some absorption/reflection here), to the
> mirror and back to your eyes....??
>
> I've just completed 10 days of running a Kaleidoscope workshop, and been
> talking mirrors...
>
> Adam
> ------------------------------
> Date: Tue, 10 Dec 2013 13:45:10 +1100
> From: phildooley at gmail.com
> To: info at writingclearscience.com.au; asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au
> Subject: Re: [ASC-list] Fwd: A science communication challenge
> austscicomm13.bloodnok at recursor.net exclusive)
>
> Hi Marina
> I'm really keen to answer this, but  my intefnet is too flaky so far so
> I'll do a brief one and you can send the 'but why?' follow on quecstions
> later.
> Light is little bunches of waves of energy coming from the thing you are
> looking at into your eye. A mirror works by bouncing the light a bit like
> how waves in the bath bounce off the edge of the bath... if you look at
> your nose in the mirror, light is coming from your nose to thd mirror and
> then back into your eyes. The trick is your brain expects light to travel
> in a straight line, so when nose shaped light comes into your eye from the
> diretion of the mirror, it says, ah ha, there is a nose ovef there behind
> the mirror. Silly brain!
> Because the waves that light is made of are very small, the surface needs
> to be very smooth so that the waves don't get all messed up. Like bouncing
> a ball off a wall, if the wall is not smooth, for example corrugated iron,
> then the ball would not come back in the direction you expect. So in rough
> surface a face might get all mixed up, in the christmas ball reflection,
> because some light from your nose bounces at the wrong angle and mixes up
> with some light from your nose and your cheek, so it blurs into a bit of a
> smudge.
> Hope this makes sense...
> Phil
>
> On Dec 10, 2013 9:58 AM, "Marina Hurley" <info at writingclearscience.com.au>
> wrote:
>
>
> Thanks for the comments and advice (both off and on list).
>
> It is a good principle that if you can explain something to a four year
> old, you can explain it to anyone. Yes we need more school teachers! Would
> someone with a background in quantum electrodynamics be a good teacher of
> pre-school children? Different people can teach in different ways. Also a
> parent is always a teacher bringing different skills to the process. I
> worked as a research scientist for 20 years (zoology and ecology) and my
> son was eight while I was doing my PhD (on stinging trees) and I really
> enjoyed explaining how plants and animals work. However physics is not my
> background and I struggle with the concept of explaining how a mirror works
> to my grandson because I don't really know myself.
>
> Over the weekend we chose some xmas tree baubles and talked about the
> difference between the shiny one and how it worked better as a mirror than
> the opaque red one and we also talked about how come mirrors dont work at
> night. He enjoyed the conversation but I felt that I hadn't answered his
> question sufficiently. My xmas holiday project perhaps.
>
> cheers
>
> Marina
>
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From:  <austscicomm13.bloodnok at recursor.net>
> Date: 10 December 2013 08:33
> Subject: Re: [ASC-list] A science communication challenge
> austscicomm13.bloodnok at recursor.net exclusive)
> To: marinahurley at gmail.com
>
>
>
> Apologies, Arran, but I don't think your response helps.
>
> I'm not sure how to respond to someone who seemingly has little
> understanding of teaching/learning and developmental progression, or of
> communication fit for audience and purpose.
>
> We are referring to a 4 yr-old in this instance but my comment holds good
> for other levels too. I've actually written such activities.
>
> ...and I'll refrain from responding to your generalised comment about
> teachers; I tend to be bit sensitive at this time of the morning!
>
>
> Anne
>
>
> Sent from my ASUS MeMO Pad
>
> austscicomm13.bloodnok at recursor.net wrote:
>
> Hi,
>
> I can't post to the list unfortunately.
>
> I definitely agree with Anne that we need good science teachers; but
> explaining _how_ mirrors work is probably beyond the (technical and science
> communications) abilities of many physics graduates; it's unlikely a
> schoolteacher would have the background to explain it.
>
> Most science teachers can probably give the (descriptive) laws of optics,
> but explaining why these laws hold requires a good knowledge of quantum
> electrodynamics (QED).
>
> If I recall correctly, Feynman gives a good explanation of mirrors, using
> QED, in the *Feynman Lectures on Physics*.
>
> Hope that helps.
>
> Cheers,
>
> Arran
>
>
>
> On 8 December 2013 21:24, Anne - asemple at netspace.net.au <
> austscicomm13.bloodnok.3403a58e7f.asemple#netspace.net.au at ob.0sg.net>wrote:
>
> ...another good reason why we need good teachers who can teach science &
> of course hands on!
>
> Sent from my ASUS MeMO Pad
>
> Chris Forbes-EWan <forbes-ewan at tassie.net.au> wrote:
>
> Or you could take the angle of Star Trek technical adviser Michael Okuda
> when he was asked by Time magazine: ‘How does the Heisenberg compensator
> work?’
>
>
>
> He responded: ‘It works very well, thank you’.
>
>
>
> Chris Forbes-Ewan
>
>
>
> 19 Hedley St
>
> Scottsdale Tas 7260
>
>
>
> *From:* ASC-list [mailto:asc-list-bounces at lists.asc.asn.au] *On Behalf Of
> *Justin Coleman
> *Sent:* Sunday, 8 December 2013 12:46 AM
> *To:* asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au
> *Subject:* Re: [ASC-list] A science communication challenge
>
>
>
> Indeed, a tricky one to answer, Marina.
>
>
>
> My angle for these incidents is usually self-reflection.
>
>
>
> Cheers
>
> Justin
>
>
>
> Dr Justin Coleman MBBS FRACGP MPH
>
> President, Australasian Medical Writers Association
>
> +61 433 824931
>
> president at medicalwriters.org
>
>
>
> Message: 1
> Date: Sat, 7 Dec 2013 12:10:22 +1100
> From: Marina Hurley <marinahurley at gmail.com>
> To: asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au
> Subject: [ASC-list] A science communication challenge
> Message-ID: <EBB444D0-6F65-42EC-B8CD-889F63C75A2D at gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain;            charset=us-ascii
>
> Hi there,
>
> Yesterday my 4 year old grandson asked "how do mirrors work"? Any takers?
>
> Cheers
>
> Marina
>
>
>
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>
>
>
>
> --
> Dr Marina Hurley
> Lecturer & Consultant
> *Writing Clear Science *
> Visiting Fellow, Faculty of Science, UNSW
> P.O. Box 2373
> Richmond South
> Victoria 3121
> Mobile +61-416-09-7979, Fax +61-3-9421-3472,
>
> info at writingclearscience.com.au
> www.writingclearscience.com.au
> marinahurley at gmail.com (alternative email contact)
> au.linkedin.com/in/marinahurley/
> www.facebook.com/writingclearscience - ideas, thoughts and tips on
> science writing
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