Science, Nature and Tech

A Kid-Friendly Explanation of The Big Bang & An Amazing New Discovery by Scientists

kid-friendly explanation of Big Bang

Most scientists believe that the Universe began in a Big Bang around 14 billion years ago. The entire Universe was inside a bubble thousands of times smaller than a pinhead, and was hotter and denser than anything we can imagine.

When the explosion called the Big Bang happened, the Universe as we know it was born. In a fraction of a second, the Universe grew from smaller than a single atom to larger than a galaxy. It kept on growing, and is still expanding today.

Now researchers in America think they have found traces left in the sky that prove this that the Big Bang did really happen. It takes the form of a distinctive twist in the oldest light detectable with telescopes. These twists of light are called ‘gravitational waves’ – the effect is a little bit like how waves form on the surface when you drop a big stone in a pond. However, you also have to imagine that the Big Bang formed the pond itself.

 

 

The team leading the project, known as BICEP2, has been using a telescope at the South Pole to make detailed observations of a small patch of sky. The aim was to find evidence of ‘inflation’ – the idea that the cosmos grew rapidly in its first trillionth, or trillionth of a trillionth of a second – growing from something unimaginably small to something about the size of a marble.

The leader of the team, Prof John Kovac of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics said:

 

“This is opening a window on what we believe to be a new regime of physics – the physics of what happened in the first unbelievably tiny fraction of a second in the Universe.”

 

Over the coming years, scientists will work hard to investigate every aspect of this discovery. Other experiments will be carried out to see if they can replicate the findings of the American team. If this research is confirmed, it will be one of the greatest scientific discoveries of our time.

 

 
 
EDIT
 
Dr Sarah Bearchell drew our attention to this video, which explains the concept of gravity and gravitational waves with the help of a towel, an apple and a ping pong ball. Check it out
  

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Science, Nature and Tech

How to Be an Inventor

Have you ever thought ‘There MUST be an easier way to do this’? If you have, you are not alone. People around the world invent and re-invent products all the time. Some of them are professional, and inventing is part of their job. Others are just normal people who had a bright idea.

 

 

There are many clubs and societies which you can join and learn to invent or develop your curiosity and talent for science and invention. All inventors start somewhere, and most of them start when they are very young. Young people have the best imaginations so if there is something you think is a good idea and you want to try and create, why not join up with other young creative people and work together.

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Language & Literature, Science, Nature and Tech

Where did the Word Butterfly Come From?

Millie explained recently what etymology means, and fitting to this week’s theme of Jump! Into Biology, we are are asking ‘where did the word butterfly come from?’.
Who hasn’t seen a butterfly flitting by and  enjoyed seeing the flutter of its wings? But have you ever considered why it came to be called “butterfly”? Perhaps you have wondered whether there used to be a large number of yellow, butter-coloured butterflies who gave their name to the whole species?

Well, there is a nice little story attached to the name of the butterfly. In the past, there was a general belief that butterflies ate milk and butter. This probably came about because of the way that flies hover over any food at all that’s left out, and butterflies may have been seen hovering over uncovered pails of milk and butter. Not only that, but this belief developed to encompass the idea that butterflies were either sent out by witches to steal butter, or were in fact, witches themselves, disguised as butterflies. Quite why the witches were out to steal the butter, we don’t know!

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Home, Health & Style, Written By You

My Various Monster Pets

Did you have an imaginary friend when you were growing up? If you did (or perhaps still do), you are not alone. Previously thought to be unusual, it is now known to be quite common.

Kait is 15 years old. Her childhood was shared with Various Monster Pets. 

 

 

I can honestly say that when I was little, I had a very creative mind. I would make up stories for my Barbie dolls and cat toys. Later I would explain the plot to my mother and then retell my grandmother everything. But my favourite imagination memories were my Various Monster Pets.

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School & Career

What is The Point in Learning … History

Have you ever sat in a Maths class wondering if you will ever have to do long division without a calculator once you leave school? Or silently cursed your Geography teacher while learning about the formation of oxbow lakes?
And History? That’s all in the past and irrelevant, isn’t it? In this series of articles, we will look at some of the subjects we learn at school, and try and answer the question: What’s the point in learning this?

Last time we looked at uses of Physics, both in day to day life, and in careers. Today we will focus on History – the study of the past and how our society came to be as it is. Here are some ways in which studying History is useful to us:

 

Critical Thinking

Thinking by Elisabeth Haslam

Thinking by Elisabeth Haslam

When we study history we don’t just learn lists of facts and dates off by heart. We read lots of opinions about what happened and why, and come to our own conclusion. We base these opinions on two types of material, primary sources which are texts and drawings created at the time of the history we are studying, and secondary sources which were written after the event.

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