Online reading assignment: quantum leaps, sun's outer layers (NC campus)

Astronomy 210, spring semester 2018
Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA

Students have a weekly online reading assignment (hosted by SurveyMonkey.com), where they answer questions based on reading their textbook, material covered in previous lectures, opinion questions, and/or asking (anonymous) questions or making (anonymous) comments. Full credit is given for completing the online reading assignment before next week's lecture, regardless if whether their answers are correct/incorrect. Selected results/questions/comments are addressed by the instructor at the start of the following lecture.

The following questions were asked on reading textbook chapters and previewing presentations on quantum leaps, and the sun's outer layers.

Selected/edited responses are given below.

Describe something you found interesting from the assigned textbook reading or presentation preview, and explain why this was personally interesting for you.
"The textbook talks about how neon signs work and I thought it was really cool."

"I knew that neon lights had to do with heating gases but I had no idea that the light's color was directly a result of the energy generated by the electricity."

"I didn't realize that neon is only one color of sign and that different colors are made by different gases."

"That electrons can absorb and emit different photon colors and the mixture of different gases can make colored light. I found it interesting because I never knew what caused the different colors in lights and neon signs."

"How when atoms get excited they produce light, this is interesting to me because without this phenoma, the world would be dark."

"The convection process of the sun was interesting. I thought the sun just spat out heat and there were no cool spots that were recirculated. Also I had miso soup last night so, that caught my attention."

"How the sun works like a lava lamp and has magnetic fields/poles."

"The three different outer parts of the sun were pretty radical. Never heard about the corona--it's hella hot."

"That the corona is hotter than the layers underneath it. I'm also quite confused by the explanation for that, but I still found it interesting."

"Honestly, none of it was interesting in this chapter."

Describe something you found confusing from the assigned textbook reading or presentation preview, and explain why this was personally confusing for you.
"I found the excitation of atoms uninteresting and confusing because there is a long explanation for it that doesn't make too much sense."

"I am confused by the electron rule and the photon rule. I need some more clarification on the two ideas. I think an explanation in person will help me understand the concepts better."

"I struggled a lot with the 'chemistry' part of this section."

"Atoms because I'm dumb at science and could never figure out atoms."

"I think quantum leaps will be difficult."

"I'd like to know more about why sunspots appear black. It wasn't quite clear to me."

"How are sunspots cool when the sun is supposed to be extremely hot?"

An electron in an atom must emit a photon when it jumps from a __________ energy orbital to a __________ energy orbital.
lower; higher.  ****** [6]
higher; lower.  ************* [13]
(Both of the above choices.)  * [1]
(Unsure/guessing/lost/help!)  [0]

An electron in an atom must absorb a photon when it jumps from a __________ energy orbital to a __________ energy orbital.
lower; higher.  ************* [13]
higher; lower.  ****** [6]
(Both of the above choices.)  * [1]
(Unsure/guessing/lost/help!)  [0]

The exterior of the sun, from inner to outermost layers, are the:
(Only correct responses shown.)
inner: photosphere [60%]
middle: chromosphere [70%]
outer: corona [60%]

State your preference regarding miso soup.
Strongly dislike.  * [1]
Dislike.  [0]
Neutral.  ** [2]
Like  **** [4]
Strongly like.  ********** [10]
(I don't know what miso soup is.)  *** [3]

Ask the instructor an anonymous question, or make a comment. Selected questions/comments may be discussed in class.
"How atoms can produce light by emitting photons, because how can they do this repeatedly without losing photons? Like, can an atom produce light infinitely supplied enough energy?" (Yes, as long as you supply enough energy for the electrons in an atom to jump up to higher energy levels, the electrons will give off photons as they jump down to lower energy levels.)

"I found the electron rule and the photon rule to be a little confusing."

"These sections were intense, and I feel overwhelmed by what we need to know from them."

"Why are sunspots cool?" (They're still hot, but not hella hot like the rest of the photosphere.)

"Do we have to memorize the number of protons and neutrons in each atom? (No. That's just chemistry.)

"I'll never look at gravy or miso soup the same again."

"Miso soup is bomb."

"How much wood could a woodchuck chuck during a lunar eclipse seen from San Luis Obispo? (That depends--is it day or night in San Luis Obispo during the lunar eclipse.)"

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