What does a Newton-meter of torque look like? Screwdriver! Bottle cap!
I suggest Chrome or Firefox, with a cursor.
"What does a Newton-meter of torque look like? It's a screwdriver! A bottle cap!",
When I mention this to science and engineering graduate students, I get reactions like their eyes lighting up, and "Ooo, I never had a feel for them".
Developing a rough-quantitative feel for the world, requires content focused on that. What might it look like? How much fun could it be?
This is still a very rough and incomplete draft. A one month exploratory spike.
The user interface is still little tested, and it's user testing poorly.
The content is still missing a lot. It's a torque page... that's missing torque wrenches, bolts, screwdrivers, engines, pulleys, springs, reaction and moment wheels, power flywheels, yarn, and so much else.
The biggest I-didn't-get-to-it UI piece is multiscale themed vertical strips on the right-side oom graph. Like, "Motors", from ATP synthase to cellphone vibrators to EEE container ship engines.
The right side looks rather dark and cluttered?
Yes. It's actually a background, for content to be scrolled in front of. I've just not gotten to that content yet.
Will I do more measures?
Perhaps length, but otherwise maybe not. Why not?
Someone suggested my objective in projects like this one, is to make people unhappy. To give them a taste of unfamiliar content, content they didn't realize they really wanted, and then break the news that they can't have it any year soon. Which sounded better when science education research funding was more available, so someone else could follow up on it.
2014-12-01 Improved UI and content, for more user testing.
2014-11-24 Online for early user testing. Content is shallow and sparse. UI is rough.
2014-10-31 On a Halloween bus, an MIT 8.01 student mentioned having difficulty with torque, motivating this spike.
This demo was created to explore some questions:
My goal is to encourage some unusual approaches to science and engineering education content. This is an early draft of one demo for doing that.
My target age is almost always K-graduate, but the demo is currently poorly serving the low end. K-grad? When you give first-graders a feel for how big cells are, they're doing better than many medical school graduate students. As for torque, kids can watch commercials, pointing on the screen, going "a circle, another circle, a circle!", and "pivot, pivot, pivot!". There seems no reason they can't do "twisting, more twisting, another twist!".
College introductory physics professors report wishing they could spend more time on "sense making", and their students want more "real-world relevance". But neither cares about the other. I suggest it's a package deal. One which also addresses the concern "why would anyone want to pursue physics, when they're not being shown any interesting physics?!".
This demo wouldn't exist, if not for:
Thanks also to: