January 14, 2024

Ballistics and parallax


We have successfully ended another semester of School of Young Physicists. The last two of last semester's sessions were about ballistics and astronomy. In the former we explored how trajectories of long range projectiles are calculated and how the Coriolis effect is taken into the equation to achieve accurate results. For the practical part our team set up strings from the 7th floor to the 5th floor so that the students could drop a clay ball at a target from a release mechanism that slides along the string, for which they needed to calculate the release time. For the more in depth lecture we had a guest from the Latvian armed forces drone division.

The final session in the last semester was about astronomy. In the popular science lecture we got a chance to learn about extreme objects in space and many methods that are used to calculate distances in the outreaches of space. For the practical task we dived into parallax. We used the parallax method to first calculate how far an object is from a phone on the table, and then we sent the students outside to calculate distance to far away buildings. In the in-depth lecture, we discussed black holes and relativity.

Both of these sessions were met with great reviews and it could be seen that the students had fun during both the lectures and practical task. This season has been a great success, and records have been broken, we are looking forward to the new year.