1XAP10A18

Astro Physics : Dennis Waugh

"The course starts with the basic tools of the trade: measurement of distance, brightness and magnitudes of objects. We then look at the Solar System and the history of astronomy from the ancient greeks to modern day techniques. Spectroscopy, red and blue shift and the Hertzsprung Russell Diagram then take us beyond the Solar System. The study of stars occupies three sessions: protostars and star birth, main sequence stars including the Sun and then star death with white dwarfs, supernovae and black holes. The search for exoplanets has recently acquired greater emphasis and we will spend one session examining the techniques used to detect and locate these fascinating objects. Galaxies: types, structure and stellar population, including the Milky Way will occupy one session. The final two sessions will study cosmology: Hubble, the Big Bang, and finally some of the unsolved mysteries such as dark matter, dark energy and the future of the Universe. The sessions will be fully illustrated with slides and video and all course materials will be available online. I am in discussion with Bedford School and hope to include some time at the observatory. The course will be a blend of economic theory and its application to current affairs/economic news. Each session will be divided into two sections. In the first part we will look at a piece of economic theory such as supply and demand, or the causes and consequences of inflation. In the second part we will look at news stories which illustrate the theory covered in the first part. For example, the supply and demand session might be followed by a discussion of a news story about the shortage of avocados in the supermarket or a recent coffee shortage or sugar beet glut!"

Tutor: Dennis Waugh

"Dennis Waugh obtained his BSc Hons. in Applied Physics and Electronics from Durham University and taught in a comprehensive school in Newcastle Upon Tyne. He joined the Bedford School Physics Department in 1983 and taught GCSE, A-level and IB physics as well as GCSE and A-level Electronics, Dennis retired from teaching in 2012, after which he worked for the Institute of Physics in their Stimulating Physics Project. "