Team Russia launches

Relaunching the blog from Moscow, Russia.

de Ferrers (and West Park) are here taking part in the Space Master Class.

Each day a student will be writing about their experiences.

Mr G.

Our first day began with our space cadets experiencing a wide ranging breakfast of burgers, pizzas and pancakes. Though, after a long day of travelling, some of our students did not quite make the 8.00am start time!

Split into two groups, we embarked on a walking tour of Moscow city. First, however, we had to catch the metro into the city centre, which plunged us right into the daily lives of Russian citizens whilst experiencing the diverse culture that the stations had to offer. Most prominent of which were bronze statues lining the walls of the station depicting Russian workers of many professions. The stunning art pays tribute to Russia’s citizens and rich history.

Whilst above ground today, we were exposed to unique sights such as: the eternal flame, the changing of the guards and the resting place of Lenin. However, the students found most amazement in the beauty of St Basil’s cathedral and the famous Kremlin. Today saw our students experience the immense landmarks that Moscow had to offer, and were not left disappointed. We finished the day with a meal at our hotel and an exclusive presentation given by Alexander Martynov with a special guest… Alexander Volkov, the Ukrainian cosmonaut! This was a fantastic opportunity for the whole team to ask him some pressing questions and even have a photo taken with the national hero.


The 9 BEST Study Tips (backed up with Science)

Welcome back to another academic year.

Our friends over at ASAPScience have a new video – with the BEST ways to plan and manage your studying. Take a look…

Mr G

Sources – ASAPScience YouTube


Physics Revision Videos – AS Unit 1

Below are the topics of AS Physics – Unit 1.

Where possible links to videos (e.g. Khan Academy) have been added – more will be added over time – Units 2, 4 and 5 to follow

Mr G

AS Unit 1



  • Density
  • Laminar and streamlined flow
  • Turbulent flow
  • Viscous drag
  • Upthrust
  • Terminal velocity
  • Stoke’s Law
  • Viscosity and temperature
  • Elastic and Plastic deformation
  • Brittle
  • Ductile
  • Hard
  • Malleable
  • Stiff
  • Tough
  • Force-extension graphs
  • Limit of proportionality
  • Elastic limit
  • Yield point
  • Hooke’s Law
  • Stiffness
  • Tensile & compressive stress
  • Tensile & compressive strain
  • Breaking stress
  • Young’s modulus
  • Elastic strain energy

Link Key

K – Khan Academy – Physics

Khan Academy – Science Revision 2012

I first mentioned the Khan Academy back in 2010. It is even bigger now, over 3000 videos and much more famous. For those of you with an iPad there is even an app so you can download the video clips for viewing offline.  Now they have an iTunes U page too for iTunes and the iPad iTunes U app.

Over the next few days/weeks I’m aiming to find videos for each unit of A2 and AS Physics (and show Biol and Chem how to do theirs too…) After that I’ll be working through the GCSE Physics courses from the New P1 upto Old P3.

First Post of the Year – First New Science from the LHC

The Large Hadron Collider has been running for over a year now and scientists have a massive amount of data to go through.

So far they have been looking for things we already know about, just to check the thing is working properly.

Now they have started looking for new Physics – in this case trying to work out why the antimatter and matter created at the Big Bang did not cancel each other out. 1 particle in billions of billions got left behind.

LHCb, the detector looking for the beauty quark has noticed that the matter and antimatter quarks are decaying in different ways.

You can see the red curve is different for matter B particles (left graph) and antimatter B particles (right graph). This extra time might be the reason why more matter existed than antimatter after the universe had started expanding.

At the moment the data is mostly certain (sigma 3.5) – we need a sigma of 5 for a formal discovery to be published. Sigma is a measure  standard deviation, the likelihood of the results being by chance.

  • Particle physics has an accepted definition for a “discovery”: a five-sigma level of certainty
  • The number of standard deviations, or sigmas, is a measure of how unlikely it is that an experimental result is simply down to chance rather than a real effect
  • Similarly, tossing a coin and getting a number of heads in a row may just be chance, rather than a sign of a “loaded” coin
  • The “three sigma” level represents about the same likelihood of tossing more than eight heads in a row
  • Five sigma, on the other hand, would correspond to tossing more than 20 in a row
  • A five-sigma result is highly unlikely to happen by chance, and thus an experimental result becomes an accepted discovery
Mr G

MIT for Free!!

Anyone want to stretch their brains to the MAX????

MIT (Massachusets Institute of Technology – one of  THE best Universities) has put their past course materials online for FREE.

Even more useful – they have set aside a section for courses suitable for High School students (and teachers!!)

Have a look and give your brain a work out!

Mr G

Source: MITOpenCourseware

Khan Academy

The Khan Academy is a not-for-profit organisation with the mission of providing a world-class education to anyone, anywhere.

Whilst drifting around the internet I found the Khan Academy website.

Although it’s in “American” – there are YouTube video clips of an American guy Salman Khan  teaching topics in Math(s), Science (Including Physics, Chemistry and Biology) and other subjects.

These are very useful for revision and self-study – particulary for 6th form classes.

Here is an example video – on 2D Projectile Motion – something AS Maths and Physics students often struggle with.

Hope it’s useful!

Mr G

LHC and the mini Big Bang

Last week I wrote about the LHC converting from firing protons at protons, to firing Lead Ions together. The managed the first collisions on the 7th of November 2010 and since then it has been running constantly – eventually millions of mini Big Bangs will have been made.

Being much more massive (having lots of mass) means the impact is so hot the protons and neutrons inside the atoms melt into the particles that make them – quarks and gluons. This is just like the universe was after the Big Bang, before even atoms existed.

This process took place in a safe, controlled environment, generating incredibly hot and dense sub-atomic fireballs with temperatures of over ten trillion degrees, a million times hotter than the centre of the Sun – Dr David Evans, University of Birmingham

This picture shows the tracks of the millions of particles that were made by the energy of the collision. Einstein talked about Energy turning into Mass and vice versa with his E=mc2equation.

This BBC page includes a video clip giving more information about the LHC and the experiment.

Mr G

Source: BBC

LHC sends out the “big boys”

Up until now the LHC (the big collider at CERN in Geneva) has been firing Protons (small particles that make up part of the centre of an atom).

But the LHC was always designed to fire big particles too. So now they are going to be firing Lead ions – charged atoms of Lead. Lead is a heavy material and it’s atoms are pretty heavy too. These collisions will be much bigger – so big they think they can make the inside of the collider have the same energy conditions as existed almost immediately after the big bang. A time when atoms (or even the parts of atoms) did not exist.

This should let us detect particles that have not existed for the age of the universe (about 14,000,000,000 years)

Although the tiny fireballs will only exist for a fleeting moment (less than a trillionth of a trillionth of a second) the temperatures will reach over ten trillion degrees, a million times hotter than the centre of the Sun

At the temperatures generated, even protons and neutrons will melt, resulting in a hot dense soup of quarks and gluons – Dr David Evans, University of Birmingham.

Some of you might remember Dr David Evans from the talk he gave at de Ferrers during the 2009 Technology Show. He is the UK leader for one of the large experiments that are spread around the collider, called ALICE.

We hope to get more “real” scientists in to talk to us this year.

Mr G

Source: BBC Website

Just “rice” for Y12 Physics!!

Recently you’ve done some work on standing/stationary waves and resonance patterns.

Here is a YouTube video of such standing wave patterns in 2D (so not just 1D like strings and pipes)

You might want to turn your speakers down – it gets very high pitched!!

Mr G