For middle school grades, reduce the number of cold cases students can choose and pre-screen the primary and secondary sources to ensure students will more readily find helpful evidence. Ask students to discuss in small groups or do a free-write in response to the question: What is one of the great unsolved mysteries of history? Why do you think people remain so interested in this mystery? Then lead a whole-class discussion about these mysteries.
Ask students why they personally find the mystery interesting and what makes it worthy of investigation. Guide students to understand that even if the reason why people remain interested is their base curiosity about the cruelty of people i. Before beginning the investigation, activate prior knowledge about historical research. What is a secondary source? Read the task aloud to students:. History is filled with unsolved mysteries. Your task in this research project is to choose one of those mysteries and present a plausible theory to explain it.
You will research a variety of primary and secondary sources to uncover possible theories and the clues that support them. Give students a brief overview of the four cold cases from American history they may investigate. Please note, cold cases are listed in order from most accessible to most complicated. You may choose to assign students their cold case based on complexity level or allow students to choose their own.
Allow students time in class to begin their research using the links provided. Circulate the room and assist students as necessary.
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At the conclusion of their research, have students create a Case File that include the following elements:. To find out, we need a working theory of quantum gravity and a new conception of time Read more.
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How does a bicycle stay upright? We were wrong — and our efforts to figure it out are leading to some weird and wonderful new bike designs Read more. Where does quantum weirdness end? Why do we move forwards in time? It could be an illusion, or we might need to rescue the flow of time by meddling with our concept of space Read more. Why does space have three dimensions? Can we get energy from nothing? What is glass? Glass is a weird kind of solid liquid — and how it comes to be like that defies all explanation Read more. Why is ice slippery?
How long does a proton live? Is the universe infinite or just very big?
We have a long way to go to find out Read more. This so-called baryonic matter is composed of particles such as protons and electrons that make up most of the mass of the visible matter in the universe. According to Bhattacharjee, astrophysicist suspect the missing baryonic matter may exist between galaxies, as material that is known as warm-hot intergalactic medium , or WHIM.
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Locating the missing baryons in the universe continues to be a priority in the field of astronomy, because these observations should help researchers understand how cosmic structure and galaxies have evolved over time. When a massive star runs out of fuel and dies, it triggers a spectacular explosion called a supernova that can briefly shine more brightly than an entire galaxy.
Over the years, scientists have studied supernovas and recreated them using sophisticated computer models, but how these gigantic explosions occur is an enduring astronomical puzzle. The broadly accepted theory for the origin and evolution of the universe is the Big Bang model, which states that the cosmos began as an incredibly hot, dense point roughly A dynamic phase in the history of the early universe, approximately 13 billion years ago, is known as the age of re-ionization.
During this period, the fog of hydrogen gas in the early universe was clearing and becoming transparent to ultraviolet light for the first time.
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The 'particle soup' was also dilute enough so that most photons could pass through it unimpeded. As a result, most of the universe's matter turned into the light-transmitting ionized plasma that it remains today. The source of cosmic rays has long perplexed astronomers, who have spent a century investigating the origins of these energetic particles.
Cosmic rays are charged subatomic particles — predominantly protons, electrons and charged nuclei of basic elements — that flow into our solar system from deep in outer space. As cosmic rays flow into the solar system from elsewhere in the galaxy, their paths are bent by the magnetic fields of the sun and Earth.
The strongest cosmic rays are extraordinarily powerful, with energies up to million times greater than particles from manmade colliders.
Still, the origin of these strange particles has been an enduring mystery. As astronomers and space observatories discover alien planets around other stars, researchers have been keen to understand the unique characteristics of our solar system. For instance, while extremely varied, the four innermost planets have rocky outer shells and metallic cores.
The four outermost planets are vastly different and each possess their own identifiable features. Scientists have studied the process of planetary formation in hopes of grasping how our solar system came to be, but the answers have not been simple. But the search for alien worlds could help scientists hoping to gain insights into the planets closer to home. Perhaps patterns will emerge from inchoate diversity. The sun's ultrahot outer atmosphere is called the corona, and it is typically heated to temperatures ranging from , degrees Fahrenheit , degrees Celsius to