contributed by Claude Caruana, Year 9
When I first entered the physics classroom I was overwhelmed with all the apparatus that was spread around the laboratory. I was very excited to use the apparatus, but because of the pandemic we could not do any experiments ourselves. The teacher, however, performed demonstrations of the experiments and we still learned from them.
The first topic we learned about in year 9 was ‘Density’. In this topic we calculated how dense certain materials were by using the formula ‘density = mass/volume’. In this topic the teacher conducted multiple experiments. One of these experiments was very interesting. It was called the density column. In this experiment we mixed a lot of different liquids and tested if they sank or floated on each other. Some of them sank at the bottom, others floated at the very top. This was one of the experiments we could have done at home, and that’s what we did! The teacher invited us to try and make our own column. The density column is a very simple and fascinating experiment and I encourage you to try it yourself.
The density column I made consisted of:
1st layer: Syrup
2nd layer: Dish Soap
3rd layer: Hand Sanitizer
4th layer: Vegetable Oil.
The next topic we did was ‘Forces’. In this topic we learned that there are multiple forces present in everyday activities, some of which include: Tension force, Frictional Force, Gravitational Force and much more! Two very important scientists are mentioned constantly in this topic: Robert Hooke, and Isaac Newton.
Robert Hooke discovered that springs have a limit to where they can be stretched, and that before they reach this limit they follow a certain law which when drawn on a graph is a straight line from zero.
Isaac Newton is famous for his discovery of gravity. We studied his three laws.
Forces is very a fun topic, since many experiments are conducted and it is a straightforward topic.
The subsequent topic was ‘Pressure’. In ‘Pressure’ we learn that pressure is experienced in the three states of matter: solids, liquids and gases. We have different formulas for each and every state of matter. This topic was very engaging since we had the opportunity to learn about hydraulic machines and how they work! The experiments were really compelling and we also built our own mini hydraulic machine; all it took was two syringes, a pipe going from one syringe to the other, and some water in them.
The last topic we learned about was ‘Moments’. This subject was truly enjoyable since it applies to everything that has a turning point, or a pivot, for example: doors, levers, wrenches and much more! In ‘Moments’ many experiments were conducted and they were always interesting. ‘Moments’ included other topics such as ‘Forces’ and ‘Centre of Gravity’.
At the end of a physics lesson, I always feel a sense of fulfilment which is owed to the newly acquired knowledge. My favourite topic so far has been ‘Density’ since it comprised some of the most challenging lessons. Physics is a fascinating subject which makes me want to learn more everyday!