Doodle Science - January 2014



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





The fun you can have with some lights on a Christmas tree and a sheet of diffraction grating. I put a piece of the cheap plastic diffraction grating in front of my camera and it broke the white light from the LED bulbs into their constituent colours. Amazing the way these little lights have come on in leaps and bounds, not long ago decorative lights were incandescent bulbs with all the power consumption (up to 2 watts a bulb) then the mini bulbs (at 40 watts a string) they took they got rather hot, and most people got rather hot and bothered too as they fiddled with the strings of fussy things trying to get them to work, but now we have these little electronic wonders, more reliable and a lot less power hungry too (as little as 4 watts for 100). The wonder of technology. The white light is all the colours of the rainbow. Hours of fun are to be had looking at the composition of different colours around the place.



Remember STEM is the acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths too and I have maths shows.

Great Dates in Sci and Tech for January


2nd of January 1860 ~The planet Vulcan is announced in Paris, it did not really exist.

4th of 1643 ~ Isaac Newton was born. So he was a Capricorn.

7th 1610 ~ Galileo starts finding the moons of Jupiter

8th year uncertain ~ My birthday

9th 1923~ Aircraft pioneer La Cierva makes first autogyro flight

13th 1610 ~ Galileo find the 4th Moon of Jupiter

13th 1938 ~ Church of England accepts evolution

18th 1916 ~ Meteorite hits a house in Missouri

29th 1886 ~ Benz patents the first petrol car.8th of November 1895 ~ Rontgen Discovers X rays.

Something to try. What's in flower?
What's in flower? Following in the tradition of Darwin and many others, see what is in flower in your garden on Christmas day. I've been doing this for years and there can be quite a bit. (I do cheat a bit and count what is in my conservatory too.) If it is not too cold you might even find a bumble bee stocking up on late season nectar.

Something else to try. Ice pictures.
When the frost is about, sheets of glass or even leaves can have bizarre and wonderful ice pictures form on them as ice condenses out of the air. You can make your own too. Use a plant sprayer to lightly mist cold things and the water should freeze on contact. If it is really cold, below about -8C then the fine water mist will freeze as it falls through the air. This time of year there are a couple of strange sounds coming out of the night sky, my favourite is the high pitch lisping noise of Redwings. These members of the thrush family migrate at night and keep in contact by calling to each other. They fly over most of the country as them come in and well worth just a moment of stillness in your garden.

Glow in the Dark Animals.

Amazing Space Pictures

Exploratorium Science of Cooking.

Met Office Science