Physics

The Physics @ Home competition is open to Year 13 Physics students. As part of a team they explain a Physics principle to non-scientists. 

On the 22nd March a team of 3 AS physics students took part in the annual Physics @ home competition at Queens University Belfast. The team consisted of James Kelso, Ryan Patterson and Bella-Jane Beattie. Following the girls success the previous year we once again emerged victorious from the competition with each of us receiving a Nikon digital camera for our triumph. These were presented by head judge and astrophysicist Professor Fitzsimmons.

The Physics @ home competition is open to teams of 3-4 AS physics students. The remit is to use materials and equipment from home to help give a 5 minute talk on a simple principle of physics. With the talk being aimed at trying to educate a non-physicist judge on this principle.

At the beginning of preparations we had team numbers similar to that of the previous year, i.e. a team of 4 boys and a team of 3 girls. However due to other commitments the numbers fell to only 3 members and with two weeks to go before the competition, we had no idea in place and a completely new team. However, with some hard work, determination from ourselves, help and encouragement from Mrs Cousins we managed to pull together a talk on the natural phenomena of sound. Our presentation consisted of how sound is produced, how it travels through different matter and included  a live demonstration of the first object that broke the sound barrier, which some might be surprised to hear, is the simple whip.

After the talk we were asked some tricky questions by the 5 strong judging panel, but these were dealt with very capably, especially by James. After our free lunch, we were very surprised and happy at the result, especially due to the very strong presentations given by the likes of Banger Grammar (who finished second, each receiving a £25 Amazon gift voucher)

All three of us would like to thank Mrs Cousins for her help and support in the preparation and for the day of the competition. It was a very enjoyable and worthwhile experience for us all.

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