Protons for Breakfast 12

Protons Week 2: Looking at Light

Protons Week 2: Looking at Light

It is the evening of Good Friday 2010 and the 12th presentation of Protons for Breakfast finished on Wednesday. I am exhausted. Not so much from the course, but from the course on top of the hardest project on which I have ever worked.

The course was possibly the most successful yet, with the most attendees and the best retention rate. At the end of the course we collect feedback which is read by me and then included in a report to NPL management. I always find the feedback intriguing and this session’s is the typical. I can’t really post it all – there is too much, but I will post everything people wrote on two sections: One thing you have learned and Feedback for NPL Management. I post it here for you make of what you will. Reading this makes me want to do it better next time. And together with the team of fantastic colleagues, I will. But now I intend to enjoy a break – by which I mean devoting myself whole heartedly to my regular job!

One thing you learned…

  • What heat is?
  • Have broaden my understanding of physics from my a-level course. Also that mobile phones aren’t as harmful as I initially thought!
  • The Sun is bigger than the Earth!
  • Which way round the changes are in static electricity.
  • Not much.
  • Hard to think of just one thing – there are so many! Memorable moments; depiction of light-wave through sticks and jelly beans, heat hand-print on the wall (+ others). So the movement of light along a line of consecutive elements. And how one body affects another and for how long this lasts.
  • That mobile phone transmitters are nothing to be too worried about.
  • How atoms and particles act/react. How not to wear egg!
  • If you put an egg in a microwave and put a glass on it, leave it for a while then take it out, the egg explodes.
  • There are loads of atoms in our body.
  • That static will impact any material including wood and food stuffs.
  • That absolutely everything is electric!
  • All about infra-red and the global warming.
  • Eggs explode! Microwaves and telephones are not a problem.
  • Science is full of surprising facts.
  • Mobile phones.
  • Whatever the topic someone has written a song about it!
  • A lot.
  • Mobile phones experiments have all ended up inconclusive.
  • Where to begin – motion – that particles are in constant motion and it changes. How temperature changes the way particles move.
  • More about light spectrum.
  • That there’s atoms in everything apart from fields.
  • Duck eggs unreliable under stress.
  • Don’t put eggs in the microwave.
  • Mobile phones are not bad as I had thought.
  • There is electricity in everything.
  • Water bends!
  • About waves and mostly mobile phones. LOADS!
  • Loads about atoms.
  • How to make experiment.
  • Nuclear power.
  • How atoms and protons work.
  • I understand and can now argue about global warming. I was able to work out why a wok gets hotter than an frying pan.
  • Science is not scary! It’s all around us, from the air we breathe to the protons we drink.
  • That liquid nitrogen when poured briefly over skin will not burn or scald.
  • How make ice cream using liquid nitrogen.
  • I learnt how a mobile phone works and about infrared rays and how they ‘fry’ your brain.
  • Absorpion/emission of light emission frequencies/’jiggling’ + spectroscopy.
  • Different heats atoms move faster.
  • How to make ice cream out of liquid nitrogen.
  • That everything is electrical!
  • Atoms jiggle at different rates depending on whether it’s a solid/liquid/gas.
  • That water can hover.
  • A better understanding of how global warming is occurring.
  • I didn’t realise that every “single thing” had atoms. I was fascinated to learn about light electricity and heat.
  • We are all electric!
  • How weak the radiation from mobile phones really is.
  • How electrons and temperature work.
  • The theory behind atoms as being building blocks of our universe.
  • A lot about atom and how they’re moving when/when not being affected.
  • All that electricity everywhere!
  • Science is fun (world’s away from the dull and boring lessons I remember from school).
  • Lots about the application of science – I never thought I would understand oscillation and hertz.
  • The amount of fun with a microwave over (including Mr Egg).
  • The whole world jiggles.
  • Jelly baby waves!
  • Why energy saving light bulbs are saving!
  • That everything is made of atoms.
  • Light is a wave. Colour perception – loved Andrew’s slot in week 2.
  • That light is everywhere, and about phones! and how to spell ciao! Thanks for that ☺
  • Wave patterns – everything has electricity – that you can keep a metallic strip in the air with bursts of electricity. I wish I could remember some of the things I learned!
  • How mobile phones work. I have A level physics (1984) and so much had an air of familiarity but a fair proportion of it was new.
  • Temperature is a measure of the speed things are moving at.
  • Gherkins can conduct electricity! Different uses for electromagnetic radiation.
  • Lego men are cool …… being realistic ….. exploding eggs are cool.
  • How little I know.
  • Nuclear power ultimately stellar not solar.
  • The really neat way of describing the  relationship between electricity/heat/??? waves and atoms.
  • Too many to name!
  • That we are not running out of carbon fuels. I had thought that when the oil became scarce we would be forced to find more sustainable fuels – but oh no! Too much coal nothing to stop us overheating the planet, except ourselves.
  • How to get to the pub in 90 seconds. Many things. And especially developing understanding of how global warming occurs – and the small ????? proportion of carbon. And how mobile phones work.
  • Sausages conduct electricity.
  • Sausages conduct electricity.
  • I especially like week 1 (I sadly missed week 2 and 3) but for the first time I felt I had a skeleton framework to hang my science on.
  • Electromagnetic field, atoms and their purpose!
  • Atoms jiggle!
  • How large the sun is in relation to earth.

Is there any message you would like to give to the NPL management team…

  • No
  • Thank you for organising such interesting lectures – more should be able as it really enriched my learning in physics! I really enjoyed it!
  • I am very glad to have attended the sessions.
  • I understand this course was given by volunteers – I hope you give them a Christmas bonus!
  • Just thank you.
  • No. Thank you!!!!
  • How big is NPL?
  • Thank you for the opportunity!
  • Thank you!
  • Well done! And thank you.
  • A huge thanks for giving up your time and making this an interesting and entertaining course for a wide age group.
  • Thank you very much your all team members.
  • More courses like this! It’s a great way to engage with the local community.
  • You are the best!!!
  • You were all great, very smart, and a true inspiration. Everything was explained simply whilst not patronising, few people can do that. Thank you very much.
  • Do you have more ways of accessing what the NPL does. It would be fascinating to know/see more.
  • Michael and helpers v. enthusiastic.
  • Your doing an excellent job and keep it up.
  • Brilliant initiative. Wish more places did similar, credit to NPL.
  • Thanks, it was good.
  • Well done! And thank you!
  • See comment under ‘anything else’. Shouldn’t there be a museum on this site possibly linked to Bushy Park, Americans in WWII. If you want to talk about this I’m on
  • Need to let more schools know about the course. Keep doing this. Excellent course.
  • Fantastic course. You should blow your own trumpet more often about what happens here.
  • Great work!
  • No.
  • You guys are great!!
  • Brilliant. Please keep the talks! You are one of the only groups that makes adult lectures suitable for kids.
  • Publicise these much more widely. Take PfB on the road?
  • Thanks for a well run course.
  • You’ve done well.
  • This has been a fantastic experience. I wish you could do more outreach work to local state secondary schools.
  • Thank you – it has been great fun. Michael is an amazing presenter – so enthusiastic.
  • Keep up the good work!
  • The course is fantastic and I never learned anything at school. They should take in on tour.
  • Brilliant course, fantastically run by truly enthusiastic people.
  • Thank you very much for the time and effort you put in to this course. It is wonderful. Thank you very much Michael.
  • I think these sessions are a great way of bringing science to life for kids and making creating some excitement about the topic. I work at BP (here as a parent) but I am involved with the BP schools link scheme. I have told my link school about this course and the BP ext affairs people.
  • No, not really! But I like your powerpoints. Very well done!
  • Keep it up.
  • This has been the most amazing course. Keep employing these wonderful people.
  • I am now truly able to share Michael’s immense passion for physics! Physics Woo!!
  • No.
  • I admire your engagement and enthusiasm.
  • Thank you for all your hard work this is a very valuable.
  • What a super way to advertise what NPL is all about,  why you exist and why science is ???
  • Thank you very much for all efforts have been done!
  • The course should be filmed and shown in schools. If every one knew about it the demand would be huge. Same about people attending in person. Michael is a star and his enthusiasm infectious. His powerpoints were brilliant. Michael is the Jeremy Clarkson of the Physics World.

Tags: , ,

One Response to “Protons for Breakfast 12”

  1. ruthtemianka Says:

    Looking forward to attending this course soon!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: