Skip to content ↓

Y12 Physicists Reach for the Stars

Year 12 Students visit Jodrell Bank

On Monday 18th June, Year 12 physics students – including myself- went on a trip to Jodrell Bank, a radio telescope. The main telescope, built in the 1950’s, is the biggest moveable radio telescope in the UK, and is also a known Grade 1 listed building. The dish itself is a parabolic shape – and in one of the workshops we attended, we were able to calculate the focal point when the dish is around 76m in diameter. We were also taught how to calculate the accuracy needed to observe the correct wavelength of the radio waves at the best resolution – 0.3mm. Around the dish there was a “spacewalk” which had many interesting display boards and a model solar system showing the scale of our solar systems. There was also buildings like the “space pavilion” which held many interactive models and activities that helped us to learn more about space. We discovered more about the big bang in a big bang cone which played the simulated noise of the moment of creation. There was also an exhibit on how light travels through space which allowed us to see our own eye.

After the 2-hour journey to reach the observatory, we went straight into learning about the telescope and what telescope were used for in an interactive room called the space pavilion. It contained lots of models expressing lots of information in interesting ways. We then had time to walk around the telescope itself before returning to the space pavilion classroom for our first work shop on radio telescopes. We learnt many equations and saw how the physics we are learning in our current topic is applied at Jodrell Bank. We also learnt some new interesting physics on our second workshop about pulsars – which are extremely fast rotating neutron stars.  

Overall it was an amazing day and we learnt many new and exciting facts about the universe.

Emma Broadhurst 6C