LIGO Workshop 2009

February 17,18, 19, 2009

Paul Doherty, Lori Lambertson




Hand Temperature:

Do You Know Where Your Hands Are, Proprioception pdf

Locating Rays:

Find That Sound: bar graph:Find that Sound pdf

Exhibit Scavenger Hunt

Bird in a Cage:

Expanding and Shrinking Afterimages: Expanding and Shrinking Afterimages pdf

Metric Measurement pdf

5SI 10. Identify the difference between description and explanation (SI-M-A4)                                                      
5SI 11. Construct, use, and interpret appropriate graphical representations to collect, record, and report data (e.g., tables, charts, circle graphs, bar and line graphs, diagrams, scatter plots, symbols)(SI-M-A4)
5PS 1.      Measure a variety of objects in metric system units (PS-M-A1)
5PS13. Investigate how changes in the position of a light source and an object alter the size and shape of the shadow (PS-M-C4)

Universe in Time and Space

Personal timeline. LL PD
            Earth timeline (ASTRO) Universe timeline PD
Earth moon size and scale PD:
Handy measuring toolLL:
Earth Sun scale (with rounded off approximation) PD: Hole Punch Earth pdf
Lori’s sliderule  Powers of ten (exactness of measurement) LL: Powers of Ten pdf
Length of table, accuracy of LIGO PD:
Balloon Universe:

5PS 38. Estimate the range of time over which natural events occur (e.g., lightning in seconds, mountain formation over millions of years) (ESS-M-B3)
5PS 39. Identify the physical characteristics of the Sun (ESS-M-C1)
5PS45. Identify Earth’s position in the solar system (ESS-M-C5)
5PS 3.      Describe the structure of atoms and the electrical charge of protons, neutrons, and electrons (PS-M-A2)
8 PS 30. Interpret a geologic timeline (ESS-M-B1)
8 PS 32. Interpret a timeline starting with the birth of the solar system to the present day (ESS-M-B2)
8 PS 33. Use historical data to draw conclusions about the age of Earth (e.g., half-life, rock strata) (ESS-M-B2)
8 PS 36. Describe the life cycle of a star and predict the next likely stage of the Sun (ESS-M-C1)
8 PS 37. Use a Hertzsprung-Russell diagram and other data to compare the approximate mass, size, luminosity, temperature, structure, and composition of the Sun to other stars (ESS-M-C1)
8 PS 42. Interpret a scale model of the solar system (ESS-M-C5)


Light and Color

Project spectrum PD:
Colored shadows LL:
Project a spectrum 2 PD
Mr Sketch LL: Mr. Sketch Pigment Addition
CD spectrum (get CDs) PD:
Soap film in a can PD:
            Soap bubble on a black plate
            Soap film painting
Permanent oil slick LL:
Mirrors R L  PD:

6 PS 31. Compare types of electromagnetic waves (PS-M-C3)
6PS 32. Identify and illustrate key characteristics of waves (e.g., wavelength, frequency, amplitude) (PS-M-C4)
6PS 36. Explain the relationship between an object’s color and the wavelength of light reflected or transmitted to the viewer’s eyes (PS-M-C4)

Resonance, Waves

Pendulums  :
Make one PD:
Lori’s list of pendulum changes LL
Measure string,washers, stopwatches PD
            Graph pendulums LL Graph Pendulums pdf Graph Preparation pdf

Pendulum snake,
Pendulum table
Phase pendulum resonance  hand model

Resonant rings :

Waves on a phonecord PD:

Seismic waves
Waves on a slinky (Giant slinky at LIGO)
Earthquake game:
Plot IRIS quakes 4 quadrant:

SI graphing
6PS 32. Identify and illustrate key characteristics of waves (e.g., wavelength, frequency, amplitude) (PS-M-C4)


Motion Forces

Motion walking functions LL:

Walking function 2 (different speeds) Velocity and Slope

frictionless airpuck PD:


5PS 7.      Compare, calculate, and graph the average speeds of objects in motion using both metric system and U.S. system units (PS-M-B1)
5PS 9.      Demonstrate a change in speed or direction of an object’s motion with the use of unbalanced forces (PS-M-B5)
6PS 14. Construct and analyze graphs that represent one-dimensional motion (i.e., motion in a straight line) and predict the future positions and speed of a moving object (PS-M-B1)
6PS 16. Compare line graphs of acceleration, constant speed, and deceleration (PS-M-B1)

6PS 20. Draw and label a diagram to represent forces acting on an object (PS-M-B4)
6PS 22. Demonstrate that an object will remain at rest or move at a constant speed and in a straight line if it is not subjected to an unbalanced force (PS-M-B5) (PS-M-B3)
6PS23. Predict the direction of a force applied to an object and how it will change the speed and direction of the object (PS-M-B5)
8 PS 7.      Explain the relationships among force, mass, and acceleration (PS-M-B5)



Gravity well:
Linda’s size of stars (Making gravity waves): Star Lifetimes

5PS 8.      Explain that gravity accelerates all falling objects at the same rate in the absence of air resistance (PS-M-B3)
8 PS 5.      Define gravity and describe the relationship among the force of gravity, the mass of objects, and the distance between objects (PS-M-B2)
8 PS 6.      Predict how the gravitational attraction between two masses will increase or decrease when changes are made in the masses or in the distance between the objects (PS-M-B2)
8 PS 39. Relate Newton’s laws of gravity to the motions of celestial bodies and objects on Earth (ESS-M-C3)


Where's North? Use magnets to find north:'s_North.html

Magnetic Globe: Explore the magnetic field of the earth:

Magnetic poles: A study of attraction and repulsion:

Magnetic Oscillator: It takes magnetic fields to explain this:

Silent Collisions: Magnets interact without touching:

Repel a Grape: Both poles of a strong magnet repel a grape, the grape is diamagnetic:

Grade 1 PS-E-C5 Identify materials attracted to magnets
Grade 1 PS-E-C5 Determine through experimentation which poles of a magnet are attracted to each other and which poles repel each other.
Grade 5 PS-M-A3 Identify the properties of substances (magnetic)
Grade 8  PS-M-B2 Demonstrate the Earth has a magnetic field by using magnets and compasses
Grade 9 Ps-H-G2 Diagram a magnetic field
Grade 9 PS-H-G3, G4 Identify the positive and negative effects of electromagnetic/mechanical waves on the humans.
Grade11/12 PS-H-G2 Describe observed electrostatic phenomena, calculate coulomb's law and test charge pole and electric and magnetic field.

Web Resources


LIGO Livingston Science Education Center:

The Exploratorium:

Teacher Institute:

Index of activities:

Iron Science Teacher:

Images and videos for teachers:

Exploratorium You Tube:

Paul Doherty:

List of activities:

Lori Lambertson:

Eric Muller:

Larry Braile Earth Science:


Scientific Explorations with Paul Doherty

© 2009

28 January 2009