Dec 08, 2019 4:30 PM
Ms. Frizzle and Promise
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"Why is the door different? - can you still hear me?"

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"I can hear you, the suits have radios. The airlock is so we don't let all the air out and blow ourselves over on the way out."

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"It's... windy? Without air? What is a radio?"

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"No, I mean if we opened the door to the outside all the air inside would rush out, which would produce quite a gust of wind. And radios are communications devices that use a kind of light you probably can't see to send each other signals! Light is a wave, you see, no pun intended, and different colors of light have different wavelengths, which is like more or fewer ups and downs of the wave in the same space. Red has a longer wavelength than violet, and radio has an even longer wavelength than that! I can draw you a diagram once we're back inside."

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"Why would the air rush out? And why does light look like it goes straight?"

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More science questions! What an excellent traveling companion. 

"Air is made of particles that bounce off each other, so they tend to spread out as far as they can. If a bunch of air starts confined to the bus and then gets released into a much larger space, a lot of particles will bounce out the door very quickly. Once we're back on the bus, I can show you a demonstration with colored air if you like. And light looks like it's going in straight lines because individual little bits of light do go in straight lines, like a ripple in a piece of string if you shake one end, and the individual ups and downs of the wave are very small."

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"Why does it go in a wave at all? Let alone all different sizes of wave?"

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"Because it's a vibration, just like a ripple in a pool of water, except instead it's a ripple in what's called the electromagnetic field. That's a field that's everywhere in space, with a strength and a direction at every point, and light and magnets and electric charges disturb it. Are you familiar with magnets? They're a lot of fun."

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"I know the word but I've never had one. Is the field like harmonics? It sounds like harmonics."

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