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Voyager Breaks Free September 13, 2013

Posted by Edward Deleon in : algebra, math, media , add a comment

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In our latest issue of Math in the News we look at Voyager 1′s incredible achievement: Traveling into interstellar space. This is also an excellent opportunity to work with large numbers. Students may think the universe is vast. But the distance covered by Voyager 1 is unbelievably large. We look at numbers in scientific notation.

This issue of Math in the News covers these topics:

We reproduce the current issue here as a Slideshare presentation.

NASA Returns to the Moon September 8, 2013

Posted by Edward Deleon in : algebra, math, media , add a comment

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In our latest issue of Math in the News, we look at the recently launched LADEE Mission to the Moon. This unmanned mission will send a robotic probe to the Moon to the study its atmosphere. This provides us with an excellent opportunity to explore the mathematics of space travel.

In particular, we look at several equations having to do with rocketry. We explore how these equations arise, specifically from the conservation of momentum. What propels the rocket upward is the thrust from the expelled rocket fuel, and this upward motion results from Newton’s Third Law of Motion. We also look at how the changing mass of the rocket, as it burns fuel, aids in its acceleration.

We reproduce our Math in the News issue here as a Slideshare Presentation.

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