Contextual Themes in Mechanics
- Describing motion
Travelling in Hong Kong is used as a contextual theme to introduce the basic concepts in kinematics like distance, displacement, speed, velocity, motion graphs and the equations of uniformly accelerated motion. We will explore these concepts in different means of transportation, and analyze some motions with the Motion Video Analysis Software.
- Force and motion
How do you feel inside an accelerating MTR train? How large a force is needed to accelerate the train? How can we analyze the force between the compartments of the train? Travelling around Hong Kong in different vehicles provides many interesting situations for us to learn the concepts of force, addition and resolution of force, and to apply Newton's laws of motion in many interesting situations.
What factors determine the outcome of a collision between two cars? How do scientists improve road and car safety? We shall do some activities to understand the laws governing collisions, and apply them to solve real-life problems which are closely related to our own safety.
- Work and energy
What drives a roller coaster to complete sharp turns and loops? How much work is done by the cable in pulling a peak tram uphill? Why is a weightlifter so powerful? Many interesting phenomena in sports, amusement parks and transportation are related to the concepts of work and energy in physics.