Interactions of Energy and Matter: Standards

The National Science Education Standards (NSES) state that "in grades 5-8, students will begin to see the connections among [light, heat, sound, and the motion of objects] and to become familiar with the idea that energy is an important property of substances and that most change involves energy transfer." (NSES, p. 154). "On the basis of their experiences with energy transfers in the middle grades, high school students can investigate energy transfers quantitatively by measuring variables such as temperature change and kinetic energy....experiments can help students understand the evidence that leads to the conclusion that energy is conserved." (NSES, p. 178). "One challenge to teachers of science and to curriculum developers is making science investigations meaningful" (NSES, p. 173) for students in grades 9-12.

The relationship between properties of matter and its structure "requires students to move among three domains of thought", two of which are "the macroscopic world of observable phenomena" and" the microscopic world of molecules, atoms, and subatomic particles." (NSES, p. 177) Table 1 lists the NSES Physical Science standards addressed in this module and describes how this Dawn content module addresses them.

Grades 5-8 Grades 9-12 Dawn Instrumentation Module

Physical Science

Properties of matter

A substance has characteristic properties, such as density.

Physical Science Doppler shifts in radio waves are used to determine differences in mass concentration (i.e. density) in Ceres and Vesta
  Structure of Atoms  
  Nuclear reactions convert a fraction of the mass of interacting particles into energy.
Cosmic rays interact with surface soil constituents, causing them to emit gamma rays of specific energies. Gamma Ray spectroscopes detect these characteristic emissions to identify the presence of elements, water and ice on surface of Vesta and Ceres
Motions and Forces Motions and Forces  
An object that is not being subjected to a force will continue to move at a constant speed and in a straight line.

Objects change their motion only when a net force is applied.

Gravitation is a universal force that each mass exerts on any other mass.

The change in the asteroid’s gravity field will change the Dawn spacecraft’s velocity.  This, in turn, will cause a Doppler shift in the radio signals from the spacecraft.
Transfer of Energy Interactions of Energy and Matter  

Energy is a property of many substances and is transferred in many ways

Light [electromagnetic radiation] interacts with matter by transmission, absorption or reflection

In most nuclear reactions, energy is transferred into or out of a system

Waves, including sound and light waves, have energy and can transfer energy when they interact with matter.

Electromagnetic waves include radio waves, infrared radiation, visible light, and gamma rays. 

Each kind of atom or molecule can gain or lose energy only in particular discrete amounts and thus can absorb and emit light only at wavelengths corresponding to these amounts.  These wavelengths can be used to identify the substance.

Orbital perturbations of the Dawn spacecraft caused by mass concentration changes—elevation and density—of surface and subsurface features of Vesta and Ceres cause Doppler shifts in radio waves which can be detected and used as basis for finding the mass concentration (gravity) of the two asteroids.

The interaction of electromagnetic radiation with the surface features of Vesta and Ceres can be measured using VIR to detect mineral content (surface geology)
Framing Cameras to form images of the surfaces

GRaND to identify elements and water/ice in surface and sub-surface regolith/rocks

Science as Inquiry Science as Inquiry  

Understandings about Scientific Inquiry

Technology used to gather data enhances accuracy and allows scientists to analyze and quantify results of investigations.

Understandings about Scientific Inquiry

Scientists rely on technology to enhance the gathering and manipulation of data

The instrumentation technology on the Dawn spacecraft and on the Earth will be used to enhance the gathering and analysis of scientific data.
Science and Technology Science and Technology  

Understandings about Science and Technology

Science and technology are reciprocal. Science helps drive technology; technology is essential to science…provides instruments and techniques that enable observations

Understandings about Scientific Inquiry

Science often advances with the introduction of new technologies.  Solving technological problems often results in new scientific knowledge.

The Dawn mission, which incorporates ion engine technology, will enable scientists to “see” Vesta and Ceres “up close”. The information that results from this mission will be incorporated with that already known to either substantiate current scientific models of asteroid origins and morphology or to form the basis for new models.