Doodle Science - July 2012



Circulated to schools, organisations and individuals - covering primary science and related bits and bobs.

Tesla Barbie



Ok so it is me. But I'm lighting a fluorescent light tube using a Tesla coil. These things are basically open ended transformers that take mains electricity up to ridiculous voltages, in this case about 300,000 Volts and alternating at about 300,000 Hz too. It causes such an electric field that the tube will light even with out me striking an arc. And yes the sparks are coming off the hand of a plastic doll. Good clean fun and the audience seemed to like it too.

Great Dates in Sci and Tech for July


1st 1858 ~ Darwin and Russel's point paper on Natural selection is read to the Linnean society.

3rd 1844 ~ the last pair of Great Auks is killed

3rd 1886 ~ Benz unveils the first purpose built car.

5th 1687 ~ Newton published the Principia

10th 1962 ~ Telstar is launched, the first communications satellite

10th 1997 ~ Scientists announce that DNA evidence supports the out of Africa theory of human evolution placing "African Eve" at between 100,000 and 200,000 years ago.

19th 1912 ~ a meteorite explodes over Holbrook Arizona and showers 16,000 bits on the town.

21st 1969 ~ Armstrong and Aldrin walk on the Moon.

25th 1978 ~ the first test tube baby, Louise Brown, is born in England

Something to try

Watch the Sky.

If it is not raining, and maybe if it is too, look at the sky. There are lots of planes in the air and you might get so see some really odd effects as well. This time of year is good for the halos, strange circomzenthical arcs and noctilucent clouds and all sorts. And let's face it we spend so much time looking down, let's look up for a bit.

Health and safety
Don't look straight at the Sun. Newton did and it took him weeks to get over it

Web site well worth a visit
is the Friends of the Earth resources page on bees

and have a look at the Science and Plants for Schools for inspiration.