Sound effects, gps navigation & water reflections

Commanding world functions, from a computer

Computers, mobile phones, tablets and other hand-held electronic devices, nuclear power plants, GPS satellites all owe their existence to the revolution in Physics that took place between 1800 and 1900. Before then, classic physics was used to describe the world around us, but it was not able to explain some observations, like the photoelectric effect or the Michelson-Morley experiment. These experiments were the stepping stones to the technologies used nowadays. The Photoelectric effect is a foundation of solar panels, digital cameras, and remote controls. The Michelson-Morley research confirmed the theory of relativity, which in turn allowed for a precise positioning measurements such as the GPS. Without these experiments, none of those essential technologies would exist.

Our Physics course will allow students to carry out remotely physical experiments using real instruments, to control measurement parameters and then get real data, all from home or anywhere with an Internet connection. Students running the experiment will set up parameters and give predefined commands to trigger experimental tasks. At the same time, other users will observe the experiment via laboratory web-cams and exchange remarks, discuss results by chat and social media.

Our Physics course will contain selected seven experiments and topics from this list:

  • Gamma radiation attenuation and its application for a nuclear reactors shielding
  • Use of the photoelectric effect in solar panels, digital cameras and remote control systems
  • Confirming the theory of relativity with the Michelson-Morley experiment measuring the position or distance with the Michelson Interferometer
  • Quantum mechanics, finally launched by Max Planck and its study of black body radiation
  • How the Rutherford experiment lead to the discovery of protons and neutrons
  • How to diffract of X rays, uncovering the specific crystal structure of many materials, at the base of the most common diagnostic tools in medicine
  • How to diffract of X rays, uncovering the specific crystal structure of many materials, which is the base of the most common diagnostic tools in medicine
  • How to define the relation between a current and a voltage drop on the resistor with the Ohm law
  • The Doppler effect, i.e. an apparent shift in frequency of a sound wave produced by a moving source
  • Why does a diamond shine so much? Why do our legs look shorter when we stand in the water? This is regulated by Snell’s law, also known as law of refraction, which determines how a ray of light is refracted when passing through boundary of two media, such as air and water
  • The Hertz experiment, which discovered how to produce and receive radio waves, leading to the creation of the radio

These and many more notions and experiments will give students a better understanding of how physics regulates both nature and technology, and introduce them to career fields both in science and other professions (like technology and engineering) where knowledge of physics is still required.

Want to discover more about this? Download our teaching materials for physics

Click here below and download our teaching materials for physics. Available in English and Polish