Physics used around the moon

Garrett Lee

Students and faculty gathered Wednesday afternoon on the first level of Tracy Hall to hear from former professor Weber State University Dr. Brad Collins.

Collins was gave a lecture to students who were interested in physics or about the history of Lunar Orbital Rendezvous. The focus of the seminar was for students to realize how much effort must be put into doing something in space, such as the meeting of two modules.

Physics students gather to learn about the physics that got Apollo 11 to the Moon. (Pixabay)

“A lot of times if you look at popular science presentations, they make things look easier than they are, and movies don’t get stuff right at all,” Collins said. The seminar explains the difficulty of the Apollo 11 mission and getting the lunar module to come right back to the command module.

The weekly seminars are set up by the physics department as a social gathering where physics students and faculty can get together and learn from each other.

“These seminar’s give me a chance to see how a professional presenter would go about presenting an interesting subject, such as Lunar Orbital Rendezvous, and seeing it in practice aligns with what I’m interested in helps me get better at my profession,” student Calvin Ly said.

The seminar consisted of the first three options that scientist thought of using to get to the moon: direct flight, lunar rendezvous and Earth rendezvous, which were used by NASA for the Apollo missions.

Collins broke down the equations used to judge the movement of the craft in order to reconnect the lunar module to the command module after the visit on the moon.

Nearing the end of the seminar, Collins went over a few scenarios in which an astronaut would need to reconnect with a target. In the scenario, Collins went over the idea that if the astronaut headed straight towards the target, then the astronaut would miss the target.

“This is an excellent opportunity for students to meet their professor, and really get to know them, which is one of the best things about going to Weber. Getting to go to the seminars get you more involved in physics,” Psychics club president Colleen Mills said.