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Broad Topics > Applications > Physics

Modelling Assumptions in Mechanics

Age 16 to 18

An article demonstrating mathematically how various physical modelling assumptions affect the solution to the seemingly simple problem of the projectile.

Earth Orbit

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Follow in the steps of Newton and find the path that the earth follows around the sun.

Gravity Paths

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Where will the spaceman go when he falls through these strange planetary systems?

Ideal Gases

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Problems which make you think about the kinetic ideas underlying the ideal gas laws.

Motorbike Momentum

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

A think about the physics of a motorbike riding upside down

Whoosh

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

A ball whooshes down a slide and hits another ball which flies off the slide horizontally as a projectile. How far does it go?

Levels of Bohr

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Look at the units in the expression for the energy levels of the electrons in a hydrogen atom according to the Bohr model.

Escape from Planet Earth

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

How fast would you have to throw a ball upwards so that it would never land?

Universal Time, Mass, Length

Age 16 to 18 Short Challenge Level:

Can you work out the natural time scale for the universe?

Cannon Balls

Age 16 to 18 Short Challenge Level:

How high will a ball taking a million seconds to fall travel?

Alternative Record Book

Age 14 to 18 Challenge Level:

In which Olympic event does a human travel fastest? Decide which events to include in your Alternative Record Book.

Big and Small Numbers in Chemistry

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Get some practice using big and small numbers in chemistry.

Stemnrich - Technology

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

This is the technology section of stemNRICH - Core.

Lunar Leaper

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Gravity on the Moon is about 1/6th that on the Earth. A pole-vaulter 2 metres tall can clear a 5 metres pole on the Earth. How high a pole could he clear on the Moon?

Which Twin Is Older?

Age 16 to 18

A simplified account of special relativity and the twins paradox.

Resistance

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Find the equation from which to calculate the resistance of an infinite network of resistances.

Big and Small Numbers in Physics - Group Task

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Work in groups to try to create the best approximations to these physical quantities.

The Not-so-simple Pendulum 1

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

See how the motion of the simple pendulum is not-so-simple after all.

Construct the Solar System

Age 14 to 18 Challenge Level:

Make an accurate diagram of the solar system and explore the concept of a grand conjunction.

Lennard Jones Potential

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Investigate why the Lennard-Jones potential gives a good approximate explanation for the behaviour of atoms at close ranges

Striking Gold

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Investigate some of the issues raised by Geiger and Marsden's famous scattering experiment in which they fired alpha particles at a sheet of gold.

Cobalt Decay

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Investigate the effects of the half-lifes of the isotopes of cobalt on the mass of a mystery lump of the element.

The Lorentz Force Law

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Explore the Lorentz force law for charges moving in different ways.

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

A look at a fluid mechanics technique called the Steady Flow Momentum Equation.

Pumping the Power

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

What is an AC voltage? How much power does an AC power source supply?

Mach Attack

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Have you got the Mach knack? Discover the mathematics behind exceeding the sound barrier.

The Power of Dimensional Analysis

Age 14 to 18

An introduction to a useful tool to check the validity of an equation.

Moving Stonehenge

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

A look at the fluid mechanics questions that are raised by the Stonehenge 'bluestones'.

Constantly Changing

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Many physical constants are only known to a certain accuracy. Explore the numerical error bounds in the mass of water and its constituents.

The Amazing Properties of Water

Age 14 to 18 Challenge Level:

Find out why water is one of the most amazing compounds in the universe and why it is essential for life. - UNDER DEVELOPMENT

The Real Hydrogen Atom

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Dip your toe into the world of quantum mechanics by looking at the Schrodinger equation for hydrogen atoms

Guessing the Graph

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Can you suggest a curve to fit some experimental data? Can you work out where the data might have come from?

Big and Small Numbers in Physics

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Work out the numerical values for these physical quantities.

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Which units would you choose best to fit these situations?

New Units for Old

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Can you match up the entries from this table of units?

A Question of Scale

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Use your skill and knowledge to place various scientific lengths in order of size. Can you judge the length of objects with sizes ranging from 1 Angstrom to 1 million km with no wrong attempts?

Go Spaceship Go

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Show that even a very powerful spaceship would eventually run out of overtaking power

Approximately Certain

Age 14 to 18 Challenge Level:

Estimate these curious quantities sufficiently accurately that you can rank them in order of size

Whose Line Graph Is it Anyway?

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Which line graph, equations and physical processes go together?

Drug Stabiliser

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

How does the half-life of a drug affect the build up of medication in the body over time?

Reaction Types

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Explore the rates of growth of the sorts of simple polynomials often used in mathematical modelling.

Powerfully Fast

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Explore the power of aeroplanes, spaceships and horses.

The Not-so-simple Pendulum 2

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Things are roughened up and friction is now added to the approximate simple pendulum

The Ultra Particle

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Explore the energy of this incredibly energetic particle which struck Earth on October 15th 1991

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Can you arrange a set of charged particles so that none of them start to move when released from rest?

Ideal Axes

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Explore how can changing the axes for a plot of an equation can lead to different shaped graphs emerging

Bigger or Smaller?

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

When you change the units, do the numbers get bigger or smaller?

Eudiometry

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

When a mixture of gases burn, will the volume change?

Diamonds Aren't Forever

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Ever wondered what it would be like to vaporise a diamond? Find out inside...