Quantitative Skills > Teaching Resources > Activities > Stokes Law Exercise

Stokes' Law Exercise for "Rocks and Minerals"

Karen Bartels - Northeastern Illinois University - Chicago, IL


In this laboratory activity, students are led through a qualitative/semi-quantitative derivation of Stokes' Law. Lab groups brainstorm on and hypothesize what factors will affect the settling velocity then time the settling of various objects of known composition and size through different fluids of known viscosity to validate or invalidate their hypothesis. Additional activities that can go along with this exercise are outlined in the Teaching Notes.

Learning Goals

Context for Use

This exercise was developed for second-year "Rocks and Minerals" course for Earth Science majors and minors. Physical Geology was the only prerequisite. The class was usually around 20 students and the activity was conducted in groups of 4.

Teaching Notes and Tips

Teaching Notes for Stokes' Law Activity (Acrobat (PDF) 56kB May4 04)

Teaching Materials

Stokes' Law Lab Activity (Acrobat (PDF) 84kB May4 04)

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Controlled Vocabulary Terms

Subject: Geoscience:Geology:Sedimentary Geology:Techniques of Sedimentary Geology, Sediment Transport and Deposition
Resource Type: Activities:Lab Activity
Special Interest: Quantitative
Grade Level: College Upper (15-16), College Lower (13-14)
Quantitative Skills: Graphs, Algebra, Geometry and Trigonometry
Ready for Use: Ready to Use
Topics: Solid Earth
Theme: Teach the Earth:Course Topics:Sedimentary Geology

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