Optics B/C

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Optics B/C

Postby bernard » Fri Jun 17, 2016 5:00 am


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Re: Optics B/C

Postby JonB » Fri Sep 09, 2016 7:09 pm

Question (most likely for Chalker...): Why do the rules require a back-surfaced mirror? There will be so much error due to not knowing the type/clarity of glass and thickness of mirror. Was this a cost related rule change? I know that last time this was an event it required first-surface mirrors.

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Re: Optics B/C

Postby chalker » Fri Sep 09, 2016 8:53 pm

JonB wrote:Question (most likely for Chalker...): Why do the rules require a back-surfaced mirror? There will be so much error due to not knowing the type/clarity of glass and thickness of mirror. Was this a cost related rule change? I know that last time this was an event it required first-surface mirrors.


We didn't specify front vs. back surfaced last time. There was concern on the rules committee about teams not knowing which it would be and being unable to compensate for the differences between them. Back surface mirrors are much more common and easier to acquire, and while there are variations, at this size they are all generally about the same thickness.

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Re: Optics B/C

Postby Fluorine » Mon Sep 12, 2016 1:38 am

Anyone have any opinions on the "twist" for this year's Optics? My partner and I started working on the laser shoot out and organizing a plan to organize the mirrors and the potential barrier mirrors to earn all the bonus points. And it offers quite a challenge as there is an almost infinite amount of set ups for this event and being able to create a plan for placing the mirrors and executing it accurately all in 4 minutes is daunting. Think the best way to get good at this event is really practicing a TON with your partner.
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Re: Optics B/C

Postby SPP SciO » Mon Sep 12, 2016 4:30 pm

Fluorine wrote:Anyone have any opinions on the "twist" for this year's Optics? My partner and I started working on the laser shoot out and organizing a plan to organize the mirrors and the potential barrier mirrors to earn all the bonus points. And it offers quite a challenge as there is an almost infinite amount of set ups for this event and being able to create a plan for placing the mirrors and executing it accurately all in 4 minutes is daunting. Think the best way to get good at this event is really practicing a TON with your partner.


If you ever watch high-level billiards players, you'll notice a distinct lack of templates and protractors and other visible math tools. Yet, they routinely execute shots with millimeter accuracy. If you play with all the configurations long enough, you'll start to pick up a "feel" for the mirrors. Also, only one partner needs to be really good at this, while the other can keep working on the test portion of the event.
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Re: Optics B/C

Postby Flavorflav » Tue Sep 13, 2016 1:21 pm

I realize that it is probably too late for this to be reflected in this year's rules, but last year we noticed that some teams who were wildly off in their calculations ended up doing much better than teams who were off by less because they missed some of their mirrors and by luck ended up hitting the wall near the target point. Perhaps in future a missed mirror penalty might be applied to such teams? I realize that they already lose the mirror bonus for the ones they did not hit, but it seems like a team who hits five mirrors but misses the back wall should still beat a team who hits two of a planned five mirrors and luckily strikes the back wall, and that was often not the case last year.

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Re: Optics B/C

Postby SPP SciO » Tue Sep 13, 2016 3:35 pm

Flavorflav wrote:I realize that it is probably too late for this to be reflected in this year's rules, but last year we noticed that some teams who were wildly off in their calculations ended up doing much better than teams who were off by less because they missed some of their mirrors and by luck ended up hitting the wall near the target point. Perhaps in future a missed mirror penalty might be applied to such teams? I realize that they already lose the mirror bonus for the ones they did not hit, but it seems like a team who hits five mirrors but misses the back wall should still beat a team who hits two of a planned five mirrors and luckily strikes the back wall, and that was often not the case last year.


I don't like the idea of adding penalties to mistakes - it could make a bad day go even worse for a kid, and one of the little joys of competition (and life in general) is those serendipitous moments of good luck. To address that point (and further complicate things), a cool rule could be, after the laser is on, you can move one mirror - getting closer to the target - but then losing the multiplier for the mirror you moved. But that's a discussion for the end of May!
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Re: Optics B/C

Postby chalker » Wed Sep 14, 2016 3:12 am

Flavorflav wrote:I realize that it is probably too late for this to be reflected in this year's rules, but last year we noticed that some teams who were wildly off in their calculations ended up doing much better than teams who were off by less because they missed some of their mirrors and by luck ended up hitting the wall near the target point. Perhaps in future a missed mirror penalty might be applied to such teams? I realize that they already lose the mirror bonus for the ones they did not hit, but it seems like a team who hits five mirrors but misses the back wall should still beat a team who hits two of a planned five mirrors and luckily strikes the back wall, and that was often not the case last year.


This is actually by design. Teams that go for the harder challenge of more mirror should face BOTH the chance of more points for doing well, as well as less points for messing up.

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Re: Optics B/C

Postby Flavorflav » Wed Sep 14, 2016 1:06 pm

Hmm. I can't say I like it. I didn't run the event at my regional, but the guy who did said that some of the best shoot scores (not the very best, but top five) came from teams who messed up badly and hit the back wall near the target by pure luck. That doesn't seem to be in the spirit of the competition to me.

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Re: Optics B/C

Postby kenniky » Fri Sep 16, 2016 6:46 pm

I mean, it's the same as other events. Like I know in Air Trahectory you can try for the bucket shot but that will forgo another shot you could have used to get more accuracy, or something like that. Risk/reward.
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Re: Optics B/C

Postby WStevens2090 » Sat Sep 17, 2016 4:52 am

Hey guys, I haven't done this event since 6th grade and was wondering what textbook you would suggest to study this event out of?

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Re: Optics B/C

Postby SPP SciO » Mon Sep 19, 2016 10:40 am

WStevens2090 wrote:Hey guys, I haven't done this event since 6th grade and was wondering what textbook you would suggest to study this event out of?

Thanks


Start here http://www.physicsclassroom.com/class and check out the Reflection & Refraction lessons at the end. For division B at least, any high school physics textbook would probably have more than enough information and practice problems to keep you busy for a while. Of course, the rules specify other topics (e.g., optical instruments, the human eye) that you may want to seek more specialized resources to help you learn.
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Re: Optics B/C

Postby maxxxxx » Mon Sep 26, 2016 6:58 pm

Does anyone know where to buy mirrors to make our own set-up? My google search power is failing.
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Re: Optics B/C

Postby Fluorine » Mon Sep 26, 2016 7:39 pm

maxxxxx wrote:Does anyone know where to buy mirrors to make our own set-up? My google search power is failing.


Hobby Lobby has them for sure. Also when your searching look for craft mirrors.
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Re: Optics B/C

Postby chalker » Mon Sep 26, 2016 11:30 pm

Fluorine wrote:
maxxxxx wrote:Does anyone know where to buy mirrors to make our own set-up? My google search power is failing.


Hobby Lobby has them for sure. Also when your searching look for craft mirrors.


Pretty much any craft store: JoAnns, Michaels, Hobby Lobby, etc.

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