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[Phys-L] Composition of pennies

The year was 1982.


On Aug 14, 2012, at 7:56 AM, jbellina wrote:

Thinking about coins, how about measuring the mass of pennys looking for whether or not age makes a difference. There was a point when the composition resulting in a large change that is not generally expected. Of course you would have to assemble the coin sets which could be a pain.

On Aug 14, 2012, at 1:29 AM, Turner, Jacob wrote:

Yes, the coin experiment and Eleusis are both sounding like they may
wind up in the final plans in some manner.

With the coin experiment, I would think it unlikely that all groups
would get the 3 move solution, but seeing how they think their way to
what they get would be nice. I have to play with how I word the
write-up very carefully to avoid skewing their approach though (if I
just clipped the solution out of the page you linked, then most everyone
would focus on division/elimination. Without that, some may think to
number the coins, and weight 1-6 against 7-12, then even against odd,
and so forth to obtain a variety of combinations, tracking results for
each to observe any pattern)

And with Eleusis, I believe if I include it I would have to be confident
in my TAs capacity for roaming the room and keeping people focused on
analyzing what they are doing and coaching them to effective outcomes,
or providing some form of incentive to make them want to obtain maximum
scores. Or do the longer version (non-express) and have a TA playing
the role of God for each group (so either bringing in extra TAs, or
having each group cooperate to play a single hand together... which now
that I think about it may be a nice way to ensure that there is thought
behind each move, as they will discuss with their group what to play
each time, and be competitive with the other groups by nature to an

Jacob Turner - (208)885-2730
Director of Physics Laboratory Education
University of Idaho