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Student Observations on Physics in Action

Grade 11 group at Physics in Action seminar

Chiara: Clare Elwell's talk about medical physics made us realize the importance and relevance of physics in the world of health and medicine. The focus was on the use of optical brain imaging. This technology, using the physics of the electromagnetic spectrum, proved successful for early autism diagnosis and in the investigation of the effects of malnutrition on children in rural Africa. Professor Elwell told us how hearing such a talk at our age had made her realize how she could pursue her interest in medicine while following her passion for maths and physics. Although I don't want to study medical physics, this talk could have definitely inspired someone in the audience. Personally, it made me visualize how physics, which seems far away when talking about planets and gravitation and perfect vacuum conditions, is really a practical and vital subject. And, as anything really, it can be used to develop a project that doesn't only help the developed world, but also impoverished rural towns in Africa. 

Reo: I was interested in Lewis Dartnell’s talk about Astrobiology. I have been watching many sci-fi movies since I was young, alien and space related stories had never failed to grab my attention. The fact that there are many planets that are likely to have alien life made me exited and at the same time, realize how small I am compared to the whole universe. How the media did not take Dartnell’s astrobiology research seriously was also an interesting fact I did not know.

Abdullah: Electrifying the voice by Trevor Cox was my favourite talk in Physics in Action. He showed us how the voice works and it comes out from the body and different types of sound waves. Different voices have different types of waves, how opera music and hip-hop music has different range of wavelengths. We saw interesting recordings about how the epiglottis, throat and the vocal cords change while we make different sounds, as well as a video of the throat and vocal chords of a beatboxer while he beat boxes. Trevor Cox demonstrated the sound in physics and explained it in a simple way which was easy to understand, and how different voices have different wavelengths. I really liked the demonstrations from the professional singer.

Maciej: In the talk on exploring the invisible universe by Jen Gupta, we looked at the universe in different wavelengths across the electromagnetic spectrum. During this presentation I have learned a lot about the topic and found it very interesting and engaging. In addition to this she talked about the modern-day cosmology and astrophysics, but also the history of cosmology and telescopes. What really interested me about the topic, was the number of questions that this study has raised. I really enjoyed the presentation.


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