Question and Answer Session from
Smiles to Go by Jerry Spinelli
Dialogue from - Smiles to Go - by Jerry Spinelli (PAGE 25-28)
Questions for deeper inquiry
The following dialogue is from - Dialogue from Smiles to Go by Jerry Spinelli. The manner in which Mr. Sigfried and Will Tuppencetalk about a current event - the death of a proton - is
The dialogue (PAGE 25-28)
Third period.Physics. Mr. Sigfrie.
Finally, somebody to share the proton news with.
The teacher leaned back against the desk, arms folded. "Ok, people-there was big news over the weekend. Something happened that will cause textbooks to be rewritten. Who would like to tell us what I'm referring to?"
My hand was already up when Jamie Westphal blurted. "Anthony Bontempo skateboarded down Dead Man's Hill!"
Hoots, whistles, cheers, standing ovation—and BT wasn't even in the class. Even Mr.
Sighted gave him a little piny clap. Then he called on me.
I waited for total silence and said, "Proton decay. It's confirmed."
He snapped a finger at me. "Give that man a prize. And what exactly does that mean, Mr. Tuppence? Proton decay."
"It means nothing in the universe will last."
He went into mock shock. "Nothing?"
"How so, Mr. Tuppence?"
"Because everything is made of protons. And now we know that even protons don't last forever. Therefore everything will disappear."
"The planets, too? They're going to disappear?"
"My aunt Tilly's teapot?"
"Yep." I was enjoying this.
He gazed out the window. "And when is
this great disappearing going to happen, Mr.
"Long time from now."
"Long time? Like a year from now?"
I snickered. "Way longer."
Jamie Westphal piped up, "So, how long?"
Mr. Sigfried gave me a palms-up stop sign.
"Let me answer that one, Mr. Tuppence. It's kinda fun." He turned to the blackboard and chalked a 1 in the upper-left corner and began writing zeroes and commas across the whole board. And across the board again. And again.
He must have gone on for a full five minutes
before he plunked the chalk down, stepped
aside and gestured at the board covered with
the most colossal number any of us had ever
seen. "That"—he grinned—"many years."
"Zowiel" somebody said.
The class cracked up. Mr. Sigfried wagged his head and began erasing the board. "OK, people." he said, "back to earth, Today we consider" - He lettered the rest on the dusty blackboard:
THE WONDERS OF WATER
Questions for deeper inquiry
- What is positive about the question and answer session?
- What is good and not good about the science references in the passage? In the book?
- What is the difference between disappear forever and decay?
- Is the information about protons realistic? Is it more science fiction?
Select a concept and create a possible dialogue.
- Proton – a stable subatomic particle in all nuclei with a positive electrical charge equal to that of an electron. The mass of the proton is 1836 times that of an electron. The atom of each chemical element have a certain number of protons in their nucleus that determines what type of atom it is. For example, a carbon atom has 12 protons in the nucleus, and a silver atom has 47 protons. The number of protons in an element is known as the atomic number. The common Hydrogen isotope has - 1.
- Proton decay - The proton has long been considered a stable particle. Recent models suggest it might decay with a half-life of about 1032 years. The proton is a baryon thought to be composed of two up quarks and one down quark. Decay of protons would violate the conservation of baryon number. It would be the only know violation of this process known.
- Baryon are massive particles made up of three quarks (two up quarks and one down quark.) Baryons include - proton, neutron, lambda, sigma, xi, and omega particles.
- Mesons are particles made up of two quarks.
- Hadrons include baryons and mesons.
- September 2006 - CNRS - The decay of the ground-state two-proton emitter 45Fe was studied with a time-projection chamber and the emission of two protons was unambiguously identified. The total decay energy and the half-life measured in this work agree with the results from previous experiments. The present result constitutes the first direct observation of the individual protons in the two-proton decay of a long-lived ground-state emitter. Two protons emitted from iron, still protons, didn't blink from existence.
- September 26, 1998 - Saturday; ... September 26, 2003 - Friday; September 26, 2004 - Sunday; September 26, 2005 - Monday; September 26, 2006 - Tuesday; September 26, 2007 - Wednesday; September 26, 2008 - Friday; September 26, 2009 - Saturday;
Dr. Robert Sweetland's Notes ©