What was the Big Bang?

Hello again world.

It’s been a long time since we last blogged. Hopefully that will change – I will be recruiting more student bloggers in September. In the mean time I hope to be blogging more resources.

This YouTube video – part of Kurz Gesagt’s excellent “In a Nutshell” series of science videos.

Enjoy…

Mr G

Sources: YouTube – Kurz Gesagt – In a Nutshell

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P1 Revision – Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation

A quick video clip covering the origin and meaning of the Cosmic (Microwave) Background Radiation

Minute Physics have many more very useful clips… Go have a look-see…

Mr G

Source: YouTube – Minute Physics

Module Exams – WEDNESDAY!!

Just a reminder of the Module Exams for GCSE Science (Module 1’s) that are happening next Wednesday (3rd of March 2010)

We have loads of resources on the Science Website that might help…

  • Revision Websites – that can be part of your revision
  • Past Papers – with Markschemes and Grade Boundaries
  • Revision Lists – that tell you what you’re expected to know and need to revise
  • Podcasts – from the BBC – so you can listen to your revision on your mp3 player

Remember we also have access to the Taecanet website.

Revision shouldn’t be just doing one thing. You didn’t learn to walk, talk or ride a bike by “reading a revision book” –

Make it ACTIVE! Do DIFFERENT things.

  • make note cards
  • make up mnemonics – memory words – reminder songs – etc
  • work with a “study buddy”
  • get people to quiz you
  • play revision “games”
  • try questions/exam papers
  • etc

Finally – give yourself a life. Stress is the enemy of revision. Plan out blocks of time – with a planned break in each (e.g. 1 Hour blocks – 45 mins working 15 mins resting – or 30 mins blocks – 20 mins working 10 mins resting) and split the working blocks into different activities – 20 mins max on each. You need to keep your brain energy up – do too much and your brain will “shut down”.

Remember – if you need help ask your teachers – it’s what we’re here for! Good luck!

Mr G

CERNland…

CERNland – A section of the CERN website with games and info at a level for younger Physicists…

I particularly like the Super Bob game, the Powers of Ten interactive  and the CERN in 3 minutes video.

The section “Learn about CERN” explains it all in bitesize chunks without the big scary words!

Don’t worry – I’m not going to go on about CERN forever…

Mr G

Science must end climate confusion

There has been a lot of “news” in the papers about Science “Lies” with regard to Climate Change.

Richard Betts from the Met Office tries to clear things up a little here.

One of things scientists are being critised for is a lack of evidence, but for Scientists the evidence is what we get “after” the experiment… if we waited that long it might be too late. So we’re stuck with predicting (the thing we do before we try the experiment, but we use our best knowledge to get the best prediction).

A lot has been said of warm periods in the past… e.g. growing vines in Britain and even Greenland in Roman times.

This is a graph of temperatures for the last 1000 years… Since we only have reliable measurements from 1850 the rest are reconstructed from articles of the conditions then, dates of harvest, types of snow in ice cores, from the width of tree growth rings, etc

Black – actual measured temperatures
Redder – reconstructed from newer items
Bluer – reconstructed from older items

This graph shows the  last 150 years – the time since the “Industrial Revolution” when we started burning fossil fuels in larger amounts.

Graphs taken from Wikipedia article “Temperature record of the past 1000 years

We can see from these graphs that the last few years have been warmer globally. In fact the 20 warmest years recorded all happened since 1983 – with the all the years from 2001 being in the top 10!

So – what do we make of it all. Firstly we need to remember a few things.

  • The Scientists are making predictions of an upwards trend of Global (not local) Warming – generally increasing global temperatures.
  • That an upwards trend does not stop the odd Cold Winter or even a downwards year and that local cold spells might not matter globally.
  • Carbon Dioxide, methane and other gases in the air do trap Infrared (heat) in the Greenhouse effect as it reflects from the Earths surface
  • The natural amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is so small we call it a “Trace Gas” – so even a tiny increase is a significant change – it went up 0.6% in 2007!
  • The Scientists keep revising their predictions as more evidence arrives.
  • The Scientists will not 100% “know” if they are “right” until the “experiment” is done – so after it has happened! Can we really wait that long?
  • Most Science that is published has been checked (peer-review) before it is published in specialist journals – so scientists often refer to the work of other scientists in the assumption it is correct.
  • But, just because there is a Scientific consensus, that does not mean they are all right – it only took one Einstein to show the rest they were wrong.
  • Newspapers are written by journalist who try to give both sides an equal voice, even when one has more evidence than the other – fair and balanced is not always correct and truthful.

So – what do you think?

Mr G