TOK physics: Green boxes
Are some types of knowledge more useful than others?
How can we know that current knowledge is an improvement upon past knowledge?
What counts as a good justification for a claim?
How important are material tools in the production or acquisition of knowledge?
What role does imagination play in producing knowledge about the world?
This is a virtual version of the classic "what is inside the black box" problem. To do this activity you will need to instal Algodoo on your computer, this is free and can be downloaded from here.
Once you have installed Algodoo, download and open this 4 green boxes. but don't start playing with it until you have read below.
You have to find out what is in the boxes without opening them. Box A is empty.
- Press the arrow to play
- The hand tool is used to move them around. You are only allowed to use this tool. Maybe you are already an Algodoo expert having used it in physics but you are not allowed to use other tools. The reason is that you might reveal the inside by accident. If you want to reset press the back arrow.
Try playing with the boxes to see if you can work out what's inside. Keep the simulation running all the time, if you stop the simulation and move the box the contents will be left behind.
It's not easy but here is some physics to help:
- When a pendulum is at rest, its centre of mass always hangs directly below the pivot.
- The time period of a pendulum is related to the distance from pivot to centre of mass, a short pendulum swings faster.
- Try swinging the box by different corners and sides.
- You can also try rolling the boxes, they will roll over when the centre of mass is over the corner.
When you have formulated a hypothesis you can try passing a laser through each box, the laser passes through the box but reflects off the object inside.
Got it now?
Do your findings support your hypothesis? If not, try to explain the way the boxes swing using your knew evidence.
Click the box and press delete to see inside. Were you right?
Wondering how swinging the boxes can reveal the contents?Would it have been easier if you could pick up the boxes? What additional information would you have?