Fundamental Problem Solving Concepts

Prepare a Presentation

Work Time

Prepare a Presentation

In this lesson, you went through a problem-solving process:

  • Understand the Situation
  • Represent the Situation
  • Answer Questions about the Situation
  • Check That Your Answer(s) Makes Sense

How did following that process help you solve any problems about how far away the lightning is in miles?

Support your explanation with examples from your work.


Challenge Problem

Light travels at a speed of approximately 180,000 miles per second. Thus, you see lightning almost instantaneously after it strikes.

However, sound travels more slowly, which is why you hear thunder only after you have already seen the lightning (generally—it’s possible that you might sometimes hear thunder without having seen any lightning). The differences in the speed of light and the speed of sound account for this occurrence. The greater the distance of the lightning, the greater the delay between the appearance of the lightning and the sound of the thunder.

  • What is the speed of sound?