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After going over the concept of moment of inertia in class, students are asked to calculate density models of the earth. Three models of increasing complexity are developed, using additional constraints from seismology on the radius of the core. This homework assignment is typically the only assignment for the week - it gives the students practice in applying concepts and methods from physics and mathematics that usually have only been encountered in a theoretical fashion by the students. How we determine mass and moment of inertia are discussed in class. Usually students work together in small groups, as those whose math skills are rusty find this assignment difficult on their own. This activity uses geophysics to solve problems in other fields.
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