© Norman Sperling, December 19, 2010
Exam week holds terrors for teachers as well as students. This week, I wallowed in eye-strain by reading 61 3-hour intro-astro essay finals on the prompt: Starting with hydrogen and time, narrate how the Universe began and evolved to us, here, now.
We had a record number of A+ essays, and not a single F. I expected their bloopers to fill a big post, but only found these 5:
* [Newton's Law of Gravity described] why we are orbitting the moon.
* Neuron stars are created by supernovas. They are made entirely of neurons.
* In the "oscillating universe" theory, there will be a Big Bang and then a Big Crunch (where everything comes back together) every 140 years.
* [Kepler's Third Law] No matter where in orbit the area formed by the diameter of the planet to the sun will always be equal.
* Along with gas giants, black holes are also observed on Earth.
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Here are cosmology bloopers from classes longer ago:
* The beginning of the Universe is not 100% correct.
* The greater the mass of an object the faster it is moving away from the sun.
* Our universe was formed by the third star.
* The Big Bang Theory ... states that the universe was created due to particles and organisms that lay dormant until they collided, and the Big Bang occurred.
* We have observational proof of the Big Bang in the form of backward radiation.
* This Big Bang supposedly occured thirteen pt. seven years ago.
* [The Bang-Bang] theory was used when nearby objects were blue shifted and far away objects were red shifted.
* the Red Shift ... All the objects that is far away from here supposedly marked in red.
* The Big Bang theory states that in order to know what was going on in the universe a million years ago, you would have to have watched it two million years ago.
* Nature developed as an explosion in the heavens that fell into the waters and began to grow plants and fish and other underwater creatures.
* Before the Big Bang, all the living creatures such as dinasours had been totally dieseased and new birth has been adopted to this new young planets.
* There was so much bonding and chemical energy that it all spontaneously combusted and made a universe.
* The universe started with that big-bang. A big rock or a galaxy hit the earth and it came to pieces. The fusion up in the galaxy, the pieces, the dust of earth came back together. Before the big-bang, the earth was without water, only dust and volcanos and was extremely hot. After the big-bang, oceans were discovery. The bacteria from the water of oceans transform dinosaurs. The water which have H2O made the air as oxygen. So we can breath. Soon, the ocean's water wet it the sands, that it started growing plants on the sands and later it became trees and then a forest. The leaves from plants and trees were food for the dinosours. There was a big earthquake that opened up the lands and swallowed all the dinosours. Later the bacteria and germs started to form in molecules and human being started to form. That's how the universe was form.
* When density increases the university begins to contract everywhere.
* Unknown is known.
* Every concept is still a theory until it can be proven false.
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An excellent student wrote at the very end "I have spent all my time and just scratched the surface." That's how I feel after teaching the whole course ... and after studying my whole career.