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Thoughts on tides and student activities involving tides.

People who spend their time on the ocean or the coast, sailors, surfers, fishermen, and people from North Dakota escaping winter are very aware of tides. Missourians generally are not. Galileo, everyone's favorite scientist, was also aware of tides and developed a theory of tides that was all wet. Why do you suppose Galileo promoted his "sloshing" theory? We will briefly discuss Galileo's theory of tides, which is based on the rotation of the Earth and its revolution around the Sun. Tides vary significantly at different points on the surface of the Earth, and we will point out how tides are classified. Next, we will outline some activities that students at several different levels can do to help understand tides and provide evidence against the Galilean theory of tides by correlating high and low tides with the motion and phases of the moon. These activities vary from very simple graphing activities for first year students in general education courses to Fourier transform analysis of tidal data more suitable for advanced students. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Organization (NOAO or "Noah") provides many sources of tidal data on the internet, and we will point out how these can be exploited.

* De Jong, M.L. and D.S. Moffatt. Missouri Virtual School, Southwest Missouri State University.
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Title Annotation:Physics, Senior Division
Author:Manivannan, Kandiah
Publication:Transactions of the Missouri Academy of Science
Article Type:Abstract
Geographic Code:1U4MO
Date:Jan 1, 2005
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