Free physics software

I’ve had an email from Yenka to say that they are now offering many of their products for home use – free of charge!  I think Yenka is the new name for Crocodile Clips, the company who made Crocodile Physics and Crocodile Technology.  Their software allows you to create your own experiments to learn about

  • motion – SG transport, Int2 unit1, Higher unit1, AH unit1
  • electricity – SG using electricity, Int2 unit1, Higher unit2, AH unit2
  • light and sound – SG health physics, Int2 unit3, Higher unit3, AH unit3
  • electronics – Int1 applied practical electronics, SG electronics, Int2 unit2, Higher unit2

They also have some chemistry products you might find helpful.

The software is free but you can only use it at home.  Why not download it and see if you find it useful.

significant figures

In our discussions yesterday, one of the things that cropped up was that we need to revise the material covered before the summer holidays.  I thought I would make a start on this by looking at significant figures.  

You might have heard me referring to “calculator vomit” in class.  This is an expression I use whenever people simply write down the answer provided by their calculator, without thinking about whether or not the number of decimal places reported is appropriate.  In Physics, we can avoid “calculator vomit” by using significant figures.  I’ve provided some links below to direct you to sites that explain what significant figures are and how to use them.


If you’ve read through some of those pages and feel that you are ready for a test, you can try your luck at

Note: these links might also be useful for AH pupils analysing their investigation data.

Large Hadron Collider – lock up your protons!

Some of you have been asking why people are talking about the world ending on Wednesday.  Funny how this question has arisen whenever I hand out homework!  I’ve spoken about the Large Hadron Collider and some of you may have seen the BBC coverage on Big Bang Night last week.  They also have some special programmes scheduled to commemorate the day the LHC is switched on, including a particle physics radio programme with Alan Alda, Ben Miller, Eddie Izzard, Dara O’Briain and John Barrowman but then I could have told you that Physics is the new rock’n’roll 😉

I’ve also found a rap video about the LHC.  The clip seems to stream slowly so you might want to start it and hit pause to let it load fully before playing.  Enjoy!

AH investigation marking session

You should now have 4 anonymous investigation reports to mark according to the SQA instructions.  Read and mark the reports in pairs, according to their subject.  You will get the 1st period of our double on Monday to finish the task if necessary.  We will spend period 6 comparing the marks awarded and discussing what is required for a successful report.