Notes for Teachers
The balloon was not only man's first aircraft, it is also a wonderful tool for teaching the basics of physics, plane and solid geometry, meteorology, aerostatics and even chemistry.
You will note many strange and unusual facets to this project as you wander the eXtreme Altitude Project (XAP) site.
The "Tetroon" is a wonderfully complex yet simple solid geometry exercise. It is actually a distorted (by pressured inflation) equilateral 60 degree tetrahedron. (That is a little redundant. If it is equilateral it must be 60 degree.) Note that the Egyptian pyramids are not. The "Bulbous Gore Tetroon" is a very difficult form to understand. To try to trace the formation of this important advance will take a good deal of patience. It is easy to get lost in trying to figure out the geometry.
Bulbous Gore Tetroon, The Bulbous Gore Tetroon & Bulbous Gore Tetroon are pages on this site that will show you the heart of the matter.
The barometric expansion of gas with gain in altitude is demonstrated by the series of pictures At 10. The "Golden Bear" had an expansion of about three to one. Jeannette Piccard's stratosphere balloon had an expansion of about ten to one. Malcolm Ross's current official FAI world balloon altitude record f;ight to 113,000 feet had about one hundred to one. XAP will reach one thousand to one - equivalent to a bottle of pop spilled on the floor of a fifty gallon drum.
Sound propagation, falling acceleration, aerodynamic drag, support of combustion and common friction are all points of interest that will be examined in the course of XAP. We look forward to cooperation and input from teachers and students alike in XAP.
A wonderful experience in working with students on a balloon project is detailed at http://www.augsburg.edu/nasa_space_grant/wired.html
Take a look, but use your back button to return to this page. We want you to visit all the pages here at XAP.
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