July 25, 2024
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July 25, 2024
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Heichal HaTorah Juniors Study Solar Physics

The 11th grade physics class at Heichal HaTorah had the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful outdoors while learning about solar physics. Students of Dr. Joel Berman’s Advanced Physics class were able to view the sunspots on the sun’s surface through the yeshiva telescopes at 50 times magnification. Sunspots, which periodically appear on the sun’s surface, are darker regions that indicate cooler areas on the sun. Dr. Berman, Heichal’s principal of STEM, explained to the boys that these patches reach 7,000℉ versus the typical surface of the sun, which usually has a temperature of 8,500℉. The exercise was a practical review of the students’ completion of their unit on magnetism and solar physics, in which they reviewed in depth how to understand, calculate and predict coronal mass ejections, where the sun’s magnetic field forces gigantic explosions of plasma from the sun’s surface. As these solar flares have the potential to impact telecommunications and electronics on Earth, they have tangible consequences that the students were able to appreciate and model. Dr. Berman further expressed the importance of engaging in practical activities like these as they provide a connection and appreciation of the natural world, noting that “ma gadlu ma’asecha Hashem, how great are your deeds, Hashem,” was made even more real for the students. It was a captivating experience for the talmidim to actualize classroom learning and experience the intricacies of optics and telescopes first-hand.

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