the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
This resource is a learning cycle for high school physics, developed by Fermilab to support the teaching of fundamental particles and interactions. It features scaffolded activities on fundamental units, the Standard Model, quark and lepton properties, elementary particle reactions, and more. It could serve as an introduction to special relativity, as students build a foundation to understand mass-energy equivalence.
Editor's Note: At laboratories around the world, physicists convert energy into mass almost as commonly as students send text messages. Still, this revolutionary process is often ignored in the classroom because it seems difficult to convey in a hands-on way. This resource, created by teachers with support from leading physicists, provides ideas to bring these concepts to high school students.
Fermilab is a national science laboratory whose primary focus of research is high energy physics. It is the home of the Tevatron, the world's second-largest particle accelerator.
Metadata instance created
September 13, 2011
by Caroline Hall
September 24, 2012
by Caroline Hall
Last Update when Cataloged:
May 31, 2010
AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)
1. The Nature of Science
1A. The Scientific Worldview
9-12: 1A/H1. Science is based on the assumption that the universe is a vast single system in which the basic rules are everywhere the same and that the things and events in the universe occur in consistent patterns that are comprehensible through careful, systematic study.
4. The Physical Setting
4D. The Structure of Matter
9-12: 4D/H5. Scientists continue to investigate atoms and have discovered even smaller constituents of which neutrons and protons are made.
4G. Forces of Nature
9-12: 4G/H6. The nuclear forces that hold the protons and neutrons in the nucleus of an atom together are much stronger than the electric forces between the protons and electrons of the atom. That is why much greater amounts of energy are released from nuclear reactions than from chemical reactions.
10. Historical Perspectives
10C. Relating Matter & Energy and Time & Space
9-12: 10C/H3. The special theory of relativity is best known for stating that any form of energy has mass, and that matter itself is a form of energy. Even a tiny amount of matter holds an enormous amount of energy. This relationship is described in the famous relativity equation E = mc2, in which the c in the equation stands for the immense speed of light.
9-12: 10C/H5. Einstein's development of the theories of special and general relativity ranks as one of the greatest human accomplishments in all of history. Many predictions from the theories have been confirmed on both atomic and astronomical scales. Still, the search continues for an even more powerful theory of the architecture of the universe.
9-12: 10C/H6. Under everyday situations, most of the predictions of special relativity are nearly identical to those of classical mechanics. The more counterintuitive predictions of special relativity occur in situations that humans do not typically experience.
This resource is part of a Physics Front Topical Unit.
Topic: Particles and Interactions and the Standard Model Unit Title: The Standard Model
At laboratories around the world, physicists convert energy into mass almost as commonly as students send text messages. Still, this revolutionary process is often ignored in the classroom because it seems difficult to convey in a hands-on way. This teaching unit, created by teachers with support from leading physicists, provides the means to bring these concepts of special relativity to high school classrooms.
%0 Electronic Source %A Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, %D May 31, 2010 %T Fermilab: Topics in Modern Physics %V 2017 %N 19 January 2017 %8 May 31, 2010 %9 application/pdf %U http://ed.fnal.gov/samplers/hsphys/tmp10-06.pdf
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