Physics Today EXTRA CREDIT: Worth up to a maximum of 3% added to your
Presentation date: Thursday, April 21, 2016. If you do not do a presentation, you
are still required to come to class—there is a lecture, but not a lab, that day.
Assignment: Pick a relatively recent (from the last 5 years or so) article that
interests you and that you can understand and explain from the magazine Physics
Today. Use the website physicstoday.org (it will redirect you to another page). Don’t
use another website. The topic must emphasize science (not biographical, political,
about funding, etc.). The topic does not have to be strictly about physics—it could
be about other sciences, as long as it’s in Physics Today. Physics is important in many
disciplines, and that is part of the beauty of it! Avoid articles that are too technical
or which require too much research on your part outside of the article. Also, be
warned that some articles ask you to pay for them—keep looking until you find free
ones (they may be a bit older). You may introduce new concepts and terminology to
the class as long as you explain it. You are not expected to summarize the entire
article. You may comment on why you chose that article and what you thought of it.
You should state why your subject is interesting, important, or useful.
Presentations are to be no more than 4 minutes, plus up to one minute for
questions. You are not required to show a quantitative problem or formula, but you
certainly can (as long as you explain it). You may read from your report or use notes,
index cards, etc. You may not do a Powerpoint presentation. You may show pictures
to the class and/or use the board. Don’t make a poster. Practice the oral report
before giving it, speak loudly and clearly, and make sure you keep it under 4
Immediately after your oral presentation, you must hand in a written, stapled report
as follows:
1) Title page with your name, the title of the article, the month and year of
the issue, and page number(s) of the article
2) a TWO-page typed written report, in your own words. It must be doublespaced, 10-12 point font, and should use correct English (have someone
proofread it if English is not your strong point).
3) 1-2 pages with figures/illustrations. The figure(s) should have captions
and can be hand-drawn or photocopied/scanned, and are optional.
4) If you used any additional references (such as a URL, another textbook
etc.), cite them (this can be listed on the figure page(s)).
Good luck, and learn something!