Chemistry and Physics Faculty Articles

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2-17-2021

Publication Title

European Journal of Physics

Keywords

Astronomy data visualization, Stellar mass function, Initialmass function, Interdisciplinary astronomy, Pareto distribution, Massratio

ISSN

1361-6404

First Page

1

Last Page

12

Abstract

We promote the teaching of mass functions as an integral part of an interdisciplinary science education. Mass functions characterize the frequency distributions of objects with different masses on all cosmic scales. We intend to enhance experiential learning of this concept with a creative LEGO brick experiment for a diverse student audience. To our surprise, the LEGO mass function is not only qualitatively but also quantitatively comparable to mass functions found across the universe. We also discuss the relation between gravitation and mass distributions as a possible explanation for the continuity of the universal mass function.

Comments

This project was generously funded by the President’s Faculty Research and Development Grant 335510 of Nova Southeastern University. DV gratefully acknowledges the support of the STFC via an Ernest Rutherford Fellowship (grant ST/P003850/1). We would like to thank the three anonymous referees and the Editor-in-Chief for their comments, which were very helpful in improving the impact of this study. We also appreciate the support from Prof. Dr. Diego Castano and Prof. Dr. Vehbi Paksoy (Nova Southeastern University, U.S.A.) for assisting us in the work process through intellectual conversations. The graphs were made with gnuplot,http://www.gnuplot.info. The sun image is from NASA. The comet, head, brick,and shuttle visuals are fromhttps://Piktochart.com. LEGO is a trademark of The LEGO Group,https://www.lego.com/en-us/aboutus/lego-group/.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

DOI

10.1088/1361-6404/abe75c

Available for download on Tuesday, February 01, 2022

Peer Reviewed

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