referencing guide for AH project report

You should be thinking about getting some of your project report finished so there is less to do when the deadline approaches.  You can start writing up your underlying physics section and sort out the references you will include at the end of the report.  I’ve attached a guide on referencing in the Vancouver style.  Get back to me if you have any questions.

Thanks to Imperial College London for producing this booklet.

using Excel’s LINEST function

The period (T) of a simple pendulum can be calculated using

T=2 pi sqrt{l/g}

where l is the pendulum length and g is the gravitational field strength.

Using a single value of length and period, we can determine the acceleration due to gravity.  However, it would be better experimental practise to vary the length of the pendulum and plot a graph of T^2 against length, determining g from the gradient of the line of best fit.


We’re going to spend the next three periods analysing your simple pendulum data in the library.  The attached pdf will walk you through the steps.  It would be better if you used your own results but I’ve put some sample data on the first page if you’ve forgotten to bring yours.

pp chain reaction in stars

Twinkle, twinkle little star,
How I wonder what you are.
Giant thermonuclear reaction;
Held by gravitational attraction.
Twinkle, twinkle little star,
You look so small ’cause you’re so far.

As you burn through constant fusion,
Your twinkle’s just an optical illusion.
That happens when your light gets near;
distorted by our atmosphere.
Twinkle, twinkle little star,
spreading light and heat so far.

As you use up fuel you’ll grow,
and give off a scarlet glow;
Maybe you’ll go supernova,
exploding elements all over.
Now I know just what you are;
and I know I’m made of stars.

Where does the Sun get its energy? A straightforward question but physicists struggled to find an answer until the 1920s, when Eddington suggested that nuclear fusion might be responsible.

A star is drawing on some vast reservoir of energy by means unknown to us. This reservoir can scarcely be other than the subatomic energy which, it is known exists abundantly in all matter; we sometimes dream that man will one day learn how to release it and use it for his service. The store is well nigh inexhaustible, if only it could be tapped. There is sufficient in the Sun to maintain its output of heat for 15 billion years. — Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington

Read morepp chain reaction in stars

AH: the Hertzsprung Russell diagram

Our Sun is a typical yellow star, so its emission would be represented by the middle star in this image.

image courtesy of kstars, – colour is exaggerated

The colour of a star also tells us something about the expected behaviour of a star, it’s lifetime, and destiny. This is achieved by plotting stars on a Hertzsprung-Russell diagram. More about HR diagrams here.

This video clip looks at how the stars are arranged on the HR diagram.

Hertzsprung Russell diagram from mr mackenzie on Vimeo.

While some HR diagrams use temperature along the x-axis, others use star classification.

Read moreAH: the Hertzsprung Russell diagram