IET Lecture – Aerodynamics from Montgolfier to Concorde and Beyond…

This was a lecture from Dr Paul Bruce, Imperial College London, on the history, present and future of aerodynamics.  It covered the origins of flight through the first balloons built by the Montgolfier brothers to the scramjets and rockets used to power some of the fastest vehicles in the world. It gave an insight into the future of engineering and also a taste of the courses of engineering and physics at university.

About 20 students attended from Reigate Grammar School, all of whom enjoyed the talk and certainly learnt something new. It was a well thought out and scintillating lecture that was engaging throughout to both the students from our school and many of the members of the wider community who were also in attendance.  There were even some representatives from the school’s RAF contingent and I am sure the lecture appealed greatly with the majority of the talk dedicated to the design and tricks used by aeronautical engineers to create faster and more efficient planes in the 21st century.  The discussion of the future of flight and space exploration raised many innovative ideas from everyone; Richard Branson to the military.

The technical detail and highly mathematical approach to the ideas were mixed in with the more historical basis of the life of the Concorde to explain some complex concepts in easily understandable terms that held interest throughout the talk.

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AS and A2 Revision

I am sure that your revision is in full swing. Aside from past exam papers we also have a collection of different questions which will help improve how you apply your understanding of the subject. When answering them you should do the following:

1) Attempt the question without any notes

2) Change pen colour and the attempt to fill in the blanks and make corrections with the help of your notes

3) Mark your questions harshly; if you aren’t sure if you’ve done enough for the mark then don’t award it

4) Make a note somewhere of your score and where you lost marks. Use this list to target your weak areas

If possible try to give yourself the allotted times for exams and do them in a quiet place to get you in the mindset of the real exam. Contact your teachers if things don’t make sense and remember that there are always more questions you can attempt.

Here is a list of the available revision resources we have for each module. They are all on the student drive (work/physics/6th form/moon books or work/physics/7th form/moon books). If you can’t find them please let me know.


 PH1

Lower Sixth this should be your priority as it is a lot sooner than the PH2

PH1 Moon – this is a selection of old specification WJEC questions. They do not perfectly match our syllabus but they are the closest thing we have. You will have been issued this a while ago and should be close to completing it.

PH1 Extra Moon – this is a selection of some more old specification WJEC questions. As previously noted they are a good match to our syllabus. Once you’ve finished the first Moon Book, try this one out.

PH1 Bonus Moon Mechanics – this is a selection of OCR questions just on mechanics (PH1.1-PH1.3). There will be some differences between these questions and the ones in your exams, however, the physics is pretty similar. If you’ve completed both the Moon and Extra Moon Books and still need more practice with mechanics questions then go here.

PH1 Bonus Moon Electricity – this is a selection of OCR questions just on electricity (PH1.4-PH1.6). There will be some differences between these questions and the ones in your exams, however, the physics is pretty similar. If you’ve completed both the Moon and Extra Moon Books and still need more practice with electricity questions then go here.


PH2

There is a little longer to get things sorted for PH2 so focus on PH1 but still do some PH2

PH2 Moon – this is a selection of old specification WJEC questions. They do not perfectly match our syllabus but they are the closest thing we have. You will have been issued this a while ago and should be close to completing it.

PH2 Extra Moon – this is a selection of some more old specification WJEC questions. As previously noted they are a good match to our syllabus. Once you’ve finished the first Moon Book, try this one out.

Coming Soon

PH2 Bonus Moons based on OCR questions


 PH4

PH4 Moon – this is a selection of old specification WJEC questions. They do not perfectly match our syllabus but they are the closest thing we have. You will have been issued this a while ago and should be close to completing it.

PH4 Extra Moon – this is a selection of some more old specification WJEC questions. As previously noted they are a good match to our syllabus. Once you’ve finished the first Moon Book, try this one out. Watch out for the First Law of Thermodynamics!

PH4 Bonus Moon Vibrations – this is a selection of OCR questions just on vibrations (PH4.1). There will be some differences between these questions and the ones in your exams, however, the physics is pretty similar. If you’ve completed both the Moon and Extra Moon Books and still need more practice with vibrations questions then go here.

PH4 Bonus Moon Momentum – this is a selection of OCR questions just on momentum (PH4.2). There will be some differences between these questions and the ones in your exams, however, the physics is pretty similar. If you’ve completed both the Moon and Extra Moon Books and still need more practice with momentum questions then go here.

PH4 Bonus Moon Thermal – this is a selection of OCR questions just on thermal (PH4.3). There will be some differences between these questions and the ones in your exams, however, the physics is pretty similar. If you’ve completed both the Moon and Extra Moon Books and still need more practice with thermal questions then go here.

Coming soon

PH4 Bonus Moon for electric and gravitational fields

PH4 Bonus Moon for orbits etc. Possibly.


 PH5

PH5 Moon – this is a selection of old specification WJEC questions. They do not perfectly match our syllabus but they are the closest thing we have. You will have been issued this a while ago and should be working through this well. Make sure that you are comfortable with Hall probes; we scored poorly on these last summer.

PH5 Bonus Moon Capacitors – this is a selection of OCR questions just on capacitors (PH5.1). There will be some differences between these questions and the ones in your exams, however, the physics is pretty similar. Once you’ve completed the Moon and Extra Moon Books and still need more practice with capacitor questions then go here.

PH5 Bonus Moon Magnets – this is a selection of OCR questions just on magnets (PH5.2-PH5.3). There will be some differences between these questions and the ones in your exams, however, the physics is pretty similar. Once you’ve completed the Moon and Extra Moon Books and still need more practice with magnets questions then go here.

PH5 Bonus Moon Radiation – this is a selection of OCR questions just on radiation(PH5.4-PH5.5). There will be some differences between these questions and the ones in your exams, however, the physics is pretty similar. Once you’ve completed the Moon and Extra Moon Books and still need more practice with radiation questions then go here.

Depending on the option you have selected you should have additional questions for these too.

Coming Soon

Sorry no PH5 Extra Moon as we’ve already put all the questions we could find into the original Moon Book

TSI Friday 8 28/2/14

With apologies to Mike who sent me this report over two weeks ago, here’s a run down of the most recent #TSIFriday.

As we start to see more and more Lower sixth stepping up to the mark to give a TSI talks, we were honoured with a cool/hot (depending on your preferred pun) talk on temperature by first time speaker Katy Welsh followed by an excellent explanation of the rare phenomena of quantum tunnelling given by TSI veteran Mat Pardoe.

Now we are all familiar with the definition of temperature; essentially it is the average kinetic energy in a material, but temperature hasn’t always been about how shaky the particles are. Katy informed us of some of the more obscure scales including one which contained a healthy mans armpit and the hottest temperature someone could survive in a bath as notable points on it. Also some cooking temperatures of note were used including when butter melts and a fire hot enough to roast vegetables. But these seem fairly logical when you put them alongside the arbitrary units scale; It’s 10 outside right now! Enough of the nonsense, we want to know about Kelvin, Celsius and Fahrenheit. Well as a Brit, Fahrenheit may as well be one of those obscure scales as we would never use it here! In terms of scales to rule them all, Lord William Thomson Kelvin (the inventor of Kelvin would you believe) created a monster of a scale. It has no negative in it as it starts at absolute zero (≈-273.15oc) and is used in most scientific equations as it is the SI unit for temperature. The hottest temperature theorised is at about 1032K but apparently as humans are so feeble, we have only recorded temperatures of about 1012K. As long as we can cool helium to 4.22K and see that its super fluidity allows it to flow through glass I am happy with the lows of 1 trillion Kelvin.

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Mat chose to venture in to a slightly lesser known part of science, so few experiments have been successful that the phenomena still only occurs at a sub-atomic level, but it occurs none the less, no matter how silly it is. Now it relies on us forgetting classical physics as it is just too realistic to use; we have to look at general relativity which takes into account both wave and particle natures of things.  You may be wondering what quantum tunnelling is; it is when a particle passes through a barrier that previously was not possible to pass through, this does not include when police men kick down a door; that’s a different phenomenon. Quantum tunnelling is a probability accounted for in some big equations, that someone managed to ‘solve’ in 1928. It was somehow proven to work by a guy, Ivar Giaever, who won a Nobel Prize for it… wait… It’s been proven… to work? It must be true then! Quantum Tunnelling has many features that make it so awesome; part of radioactive decay, can be the cause of spontaneous DNA mutation, Cold Emission, Tunnel Junctions and Scanning tunnelling microscopes. It has been seen to complete a current when electrons that pass through insulators complete a circuit and Is a pretty impressive phenomena we should all appreciate. If you would like to give it a go, put a target up on a wall, run at it and if you pass through the wall without breaking it, you have quantum tunnelled! Good Luck!

(If anyone gets injured due to partaking in the last experiment they only have themselves to blame and no injury can be linked to or treated by the TSI talkers or Reigate Grammar School in general)

Mike

TSI Friday 7 – 7/2/2014

Alas, our usual #TSIFriday reporter Mike was giving one of this week’s talks which meant he didn’t carry out his usual duty of taking notes and photos during the talks. In addition, I failed to ask anyone else to step in. Finally, I was only able to attend the very start as I had a meeting at lunch. All of this means no report for Mike’s talk on Superheating and Supercooling or Tom’s talk on the Fundamentals of Stealth. Sorry gents.

I heard good reports about both, with Mr Dare stating that it was the first talk about stealth which actually explained things well. Another highlight was Mike not taking into account the pressure of a sealed bottle of cheap lemonade with hilarious consequences. To his credit he was unphased by the brief lemony shower he recieved and carried on regardless.

I am aiming to resume normal service in time for the next #TSIFriday.

Mr Saunders

If you had a time lapse camera, what would you film?

Recently the Science Department received a time lapse camera thanks to a generous grant from the PFA. We’ve already tested it out on few different things but thought we’d ask you what you would do if you had access to the camera. It’ll do wide angle shots or can be attached to a microscope.

Time lapse cameras allow you to decide how often frames will be captured and what speed they are played back at. For example, you could take a picture of Broadfield at noon everyday for a year and end up with 365 frames. Playing this back at 10 frames per second would condense a year’s worth of pictures into around 40 seconds of footage.

The camera we have does all the hard work for you, all you need to do is select how often a frame is captured and how many frames per second you want to play it back at. That’s it. So now you just need to think about what you’d like to film.

We want to hear your ideas and if any of them sound awesome enough (and feasible too) then we’ll set up the camera and film it. We’ll even give you the first showing of the video (as it was your idea) and maybe throw in a prize too (although I’m not sure what that would be). Simply write your idea in the comments below. The more detail you give us the better we can picture your idea.

Good luck and make you ideas as interesting and creative as possible.

Here’s our first test video taken from #TSIFriday:

You can find out more about the camera we have here:

http://www.brinno.com/html/labcam.html 

TSI Friday 6 – 24/1/14

After a long break from exciting science talks in the TSI community we were given a welcome return from two excellent speakers, Mr Byfield on model organisms and the ways in which we can manipulate them, and Mr Saunders on the aerodynamics of the Frisb… flying disc… It is definitely not called a Frisbee (unless of course you’re talking about a Wham-O brand flying disc, then you’re fine).

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Mr Byfield gave us an insight into what he had studied at University for his final year project; the c elegan a type of model organism. The four main model organisms are a type of plant (not that exciting), a mouse (again we see them tested all the time), but the coolest model organisms are the fruit fly and a type of worm called Caenorhabditis elegan (or c elegan for short). We have all seen the fluorescent protein used from jellyfish to make worms glow under UV, well that’s the kind of thing these little critters get used for, testing out lengths of DNA in abnormal ways. Now the fluorescing pigment effects the nervous cells and makes them glow green, due to GFP (green fluorescent protein), in the worm. This allowed the scientist working on the worms to work out where there head was as there was more nervous activity occurring at one end. I also particularly liked the fruit fly who had been genetically changed to have a leg grow instead of its antennas… then it had another leg growing out of the knee of the face-leg and then an eye growing in the knee of the face-leg-knee-leg.

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The second talk, by Mr Saunders, was on the famous Frisbee which started life as a pie dish for Mr Frisbee’s pies. Actually the talk wasn’t about Frisbees at all, it was about flying discs; the Frisbee is actually a genericised term for flying disc and Frisbee is a trademark brand by Wham-O, so I should be putting TM after Frisbee™.  After clearing up the branding issues of the flying disc, we were told about the aerodynamics of the Frisbee™. It flys like a plane and whirls around like a gyroscope. So essentially it keeps going straight for a while, unless you throw like Mr Dare and it actually fly’s any direction but straight! The key to throwing a Frisbee™ is to get a good spin; without spin it will flip up nearly instantly. But why do we have grooves on a disc? Well it causes the pressure drag to be decreased as it breaks the flow of the air so there is less of a vacuum behind the disc. This also is why golf balls have dimples, which interestingly was discovered by old balls flying further than new ones as chunks were missing from overuse.

Mr Saunders’ talk was certainly not just a chance to advertise the sport of Ultimate to another group of people. Although, if you want to have a go at manipulating a flying disc and seeing how remarkable they fly then pop along to Ultimate after half term, Thursday after school on Broadfield Lawn. Open to 5th Form and above and a popular games option in the summer term. Or pop along to Croydon and play some disc golf; although RGS ultimate seems closer and have a handy twitter account to follow too: https://twitter.com/RGSUltimate

If you want to do a TSI then talk to the heads of science, I highly recommend it, its not often you get to talk for 15 minutes without being interrupted!

NPL Academy

The National Physics Laboratory have started taking applications for their 2014 Academy. It’s a chance to go to a leading scientific establishment and get involved with what goes on there.

http://www.npl.co.uk/educate-explore/academy/

There are a range of areas to apply to including acoustics, nanosurface analysis and quantum detection. The full list is here:

http://www.npl.co.uk/educate-explore/academy/npl-academy-2014/

This is a great opportunity to study outside of the school lab. The range of topics on offer covers physics, electronics, chemistry, medicine and many more. Competition for places will be high (around four people per place) so make sure you make the most of your 500 characters in the “why you would like to be considered” box. The work experience runs from 7 – 11 July.

Time is tight and the deadline is 20th January so get moving.

Good luck!