Doodle Science - December 2012

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

Sparks, big lovely bright sparks. Recently a school very kindly gave me a thing called an induction or Ruhmkorff coil, it was rather tired and were broken but I managed to sort it out and made it pretty again. Basically it takes in 6 V D.C from a battery and turns it into several hundred thousand volts A.C. and this is what happens if you put a metal spike on one electrode and an old computer hard disk on the other. Each spark lasts for only a few milliseconds but a long exposure photo gives you the picture above, 2 seconds I think it was. I am pretty certain this is a very effective way of making sure that the disk is unreadable. I've put more pictures, video and details on my website.
Great Dates in Sci and Tech for December

2nd, 1942 ~The Manhattan Project, the first working nuclear pile or reactor, Chicago
3rd, 1967~ First successful Heart Transplant carried out by Barnard
5th, 1893 ~ First electric car
10th, 1684 ~ Newtons paper on Gravity is read to the Royal Society By Halley
12th, 1901 ~ Marconi receives the first radio transmission across the Atlantic
14th, 1903 ~ The Wright Brothers make their first attempt to get the Wright Flyer off the ground
21st, 1968 ~ Apollo 8 goes to the Moon. the first people to go round, they did not land but they got a great view.ans
23rd, 1954 ~ First human kidney transplant by Murray in Boston.
24th, 1906 ~ First transmission of voice and music by radio, Reginald Fessenden.
27th, 1831 ~ Darwin sets sail on the Beagle
28th, 1612 ~ Galileo probably saw Neptune but thought it was a fixed star.
Something to try.Using biscuits for material testing

Different biscuits have different structures, honest they do, you can test them for strength or tension and compression,
"bendability" but my favourite is to dunk and see how long it takes them to fall apart.
Which will survive longest, a rich tea or a ginger nut?
Lots of possible variables and they make quite good models for looking at rock types too.

Health and safety:
The bickies are experimental equipment and not just for eating.
Some thing else to try
Make your own biscuits for testing, do some edible chemistry. Go here for how

Interesting, How many people are in Space right now
It's BP, but it's free resources Well worth a look
NASA's Curiosity self portrait