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Students pose in front of a control-rod bundle and fake power lines in the power plant's visitor center.

PHOTOGRAPHS BY JOHN SCOFIELD

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Physics Class Meets Power Plant

By Sue Kropp

 


This sign greets visitors when they enter the control-room simulator.


 

DECEMBER 13, 2000--John Scofield, associate professor of physics, and Melinda Keller, instructor of physics, recently took Scofield's Physics 112, Modern Physics, class on a field trip to the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station in Oak Harbor, Ohio, about an hour northwest of Oberlin. The class has been studying nuclear processes, including fission and fusion.

"Modern Physics explores many of the processes that actually take place at a power plant," Scofield says. "Because we studied the processes before the trip, the students were able to understand a lot of what was going on at the plant. In a classroom, however, students aren't exposed to safety or waste issues, so even though they are well informed about certain issues, they were able to learn a lot on this trip."

After a tour of the plant, students visited the control-room simulator, where employees simulated an event that took place a few years ago when a tornado struck the plant, causing a power failure.

"Working" in a simulation of the power plant's control room are Aaron Webber, a sophomore from Woodbridge, Connecticut; Christopher Tebbens, a sophomore from Hebron, Indiana; and Taviel Guren, a junior from Bellingham, Washington.

 

 

 

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