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A Level Physics Trip to Cambridge

 

A-level Physics trip to Cambridge

Three A-level students recently attended a 'Physics Experience' day at Cambridge. The day was designed at giving a small taste of Cambridge life as a physics student. This began with an insightful talk about university life and the Cambridge application process. After this they were treated to a walk around the grand grounds of Pembroke College, parts of which were designed by no less than Christopher Wren.

The afternoon involved a trip to the Cavendish laboratories, where a walk through presents cases filled with scientific history, such as cathode ray tubes used by Sir J J Thomson when discovering the electron.

The class then attended a lecture discussing the physics of sight, explaining everything from classic eye tricks to modern 3D televisions. Students then split into smaller groups for a seminar style exercise, pupils were challenged to solve the problem of how fast a car would need to travel to perform a 'loop-the-loop'.

The final part of the day took place in an undergraduate lab and involved a practical on circular motion using a conical pendulum. The task was made all the more tricky by having the pendulum unwind as it swung, creating a continuously changing variable!

Dr Behan.

 

A Church Of England Secondary Girls' School and Sixth Form Centre