Archive for electromagnetism

Electricity, Magnetism, Morse & The Information Age.

Posted in Video / Theatre with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 2, 2013 by Brit Cruise

The follow three video mini-series is a bit of an Engineering detour in the story of information theory. In order to easily grasp the ideas of Hartley and Shannon, I felt it would be beneficial to lay some groundwork. It began with my own selfish interest in wanting to relive some famous experiments & technologies from the 19th Century. Specifically, why did the Information Age arise? When and how did electricity play a role in communication? Why was magnetism involved? Why did Morse code become so popular compared to the European designs? How was information understood before words (and concepts) such as “bit” existed? What’s the difference between static electricity and current?

All of these questions are answered as we slowly uncover a more modern approach to sending differences over a distance…

The History of Electricity

The Battery and Electromagnetism

Morse Code and the Information Age

Click below to practice Morse Code!

Screen Shot 2013-03-01 at 11.34.08 PM


Observational Science – Teaching without words

Posted in Research and Projects with tags , , , , , on November 8, 2012 by Brit Cruise

Lately I have been thinking about ways of blending various aspects of history into math/science lessons on Khan Academy. The traditional model of: lesson, experiment, lesson, experiment makes sense – though it’s important to do the experiment part in a natural way. All experiments begin with observations in the real world. So, I’m going to make a series of short silent videos which reenact observations made by our ancestors and first inventions/technologies which result.

Later on, lessons using modern technology can reference these videos (Karl mentioned we could call them Building Blocks) as experimental foundations everyone can understand. In this case I begin with a simple video of someone finding rocks in a river with seemingly magical properties. Then these properties are harnessed to create new things. This will lead us into electromagnetism, and more modern inventions such as the telegraph. Check out the progress here