Doodle Science - March 2012



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

Tesla coil sparks

Sparks off my tesla coil. At about 30Kv and 300Khz electricity can be very strange stuff. This is a longish exposure photo it was one second and the wisps of power as the voltage breaks the air a a thing of beauty, this is not a toy to cuddle and when I use it I am careful to make sure there is nothing too sensitive about as it does cause a few ripples in the electromagnetic field. One thing i still wonder about this picture is why the colours on each side of the arc are different, I have lots of theories but no proof.

Great Dates in Sci and Tech for March


1st 1966 ~ Venera 3 space probe send back the first pictures of the surface of the planet Venus

4th 1493 ~ Columbus get back to Europe having discovered the New World

4th 1887 ~ Daimler unveils his first 4 wheel internal combustion car

7th 1799 ~ The Royal Institution was founded by the very interesting Count Rumford, a man with a strange history

8th 1934 ~ Edwin Hubble produces a photo with showing there are more galaxies than stars in the Milky Way.

13th 1781 ~ Herschel discovers a planet in his back garden. He used a telescope and it was Uranus.

18th 1965 ~ Leonov becomes the first person to space walk.

22nd 1895 ~ First screening of moving pictures by the Lumiere Brothers.

30th 1842 ~ Dr Long s first use of anaethesia in an operation

30th 1858 ~ First pencil with a rubber attached

Something to try

Look at the world differently.

Coloured filters can really change the way you see things. simply get some lighting gels of various colours or even a load of those clear but coloured cellophane sweet wrappers and have a look through them. Look at flowers, the sky, coloured patches on a wall, anything. Red tends to make everything feel hot, orange makes blue very strange, yellow makes even the dullest day feel warm, green is like under the sea but red goes black, blue is like night but red can seem to disappear and my personal favourite is purple that make it all go very Jimmy Hendrix. It is possible to get very technical about light and how light works but you don't need to if you don't want to

Health and safety
Don't look straight at the sun and try not to walk into anything

Web site well worth a visit
is this video of a Tornado on the Sun

and have a look at the Natural History Museum for useful free stuff.