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Physics Quest- Waves, wave-like behavior, and electrostatics.
This activity is designed to develop your understanding of important physics concepts. The
components of the assignment involve reading and writing, and each section has multiple parts. It is
essential that you complete each section. For example, the quest on electrostatics has several subsections, and some of the sections contain their own links.
Read the instructions and descriptions for each of the following and answer the associated
Quest 1: Electrostatics
Part I- Triboelectric series link
1. What is a triboelectric series?
2. Give two examples of materials that are more likely to give up electrons, and two examples
of materials that are more likely attract electrons.
3. Which material is neutral in the triboelectric series?
(We are not doing part II)
Part III- Lightning
Lightning Info
4. Describe the creation of a ground strike of lightning.
Lightning and Thunder
5. Explain why there is a time difference between the sight of lightning and the sound of
Safety info
6. Give three safety guidelines to follow during a lightning storm.
7. Discuss in detail four lightning myths.
Quest 2- Earthquakes and tsunamis
Part I Earthquakes
8. Name and describe in detail the two types of body waves.
9. Name and describe in detail the two types of surface waves.
Wave lengths and the interior of the earth
10. How fast do P-waves move in the crust?
11. How fast do S-waves move in the crust?
12. What happens to S-waves approximately 2900 km below Earth’s surface? Why?
13. Using only data on P-waves, how could you determine the depth of the boundary between
the mantle and the outer core?
14. How does P-wave speed indicate that the inner core is composed of solid rock?
15. S-waves can travel through solid rock, and the inner core is solid. Why then are no S-waves
found in the inner core?
16. Which is likely to be a more distinct transition: from the mantle to the outer core or from the
outer core to the inner core? Why?
Part II- Tsunamis
Explore the links given below to find the answers to the following questions:
17. What does the word "tsunami" mean?
18. Tsunamis are often inaccurately referred to as "tidal waves" or "seismic sea waves." Explain
why neither of these terms correctly describes a tsunami.
19. How do tsunamis differ from other water waves?
20. Discuss some natural events that can generate a tsunami? Examples: earthquakes, volcanic
eruptions, displacements of sediments, etc.
21. What happens to a tsunami as it approaches land, and what happens when the tsunami
encounters land?
22. Illustrate, through neat, labeled diagrams, the difference between a wind generated wave and
a tsunami wave.
(Use a separate sheet of paper)
23. List four major areas on Earth that are most likely to experience the effects of tsunamis.
24. List at least five things one should do after a tsunami warning is issued.
25. What determines how destructive a tsunami will be near the origin and at a distant shore?
Links for Answers
Physics of a Tsunami
Tsunamis: the Great Waves
NOAA Tsunami Center
FAQs about Tsunamis