2nd year presentation topic needed

In summary, the conversation involved a user seeking help with a 10-minute physics presentation for second year students. Various ideas were proposed, such as the Nobel Prize and cosmic background radiation, plucking string theory, and quasars as unsolved puzzles in physics. Eventually, the user settled on a topic of their own.
  • #1
El Hombre Invisible
692
0
Hi. Long time, no post. Don't know if this is the best place for this post... seemed an okay fit. Anyway... I need help.

I need to do a dumb 10 minute presentation on some physics subject to this year's second years. The focus of this task is to test presentation skills rather than physics knowledge (although knowing what you're talking about is quite a good presentation skill in my experience).

Anyway, I'm basically too unimaginative, apathetic and lazy to come up with a suitable topic. Other ideas I've heard are things like the magilev trains in Japan... simple but groovy things like that which can be explained neatly in under 10 mins and warrant pretty diagrams. Nothing taxing. I've done some digging through things like Physics Today, Physics World, SciAm, etc, but can't find ANYTHING that sparks my interest. All my ideas are either naff or too complicated to explain.

Anyone have any good ideas? Anyone heard of any nice, simple physics stories that will fend off sleep for a dozen or so second years for ten minutes?

Thanks...

El Hombre
 
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  • #2
The Nobel Prize and the old cosmic background radiation stuff...

Lots of nice pics.
 
  • #4
The whole "missing neutrino" story is an amazing snapshot of physics in action, IMO. Great story, and it will be a challenge to distill it down to a 10 minute presentation. If you do it well, it will surely be A-material.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/neutrino/
 
  • #5
Astronuc said:
Welcome back to PF, EHI! Long time no see. But then we can't 'see' you.
Hello Astronuc. Good to read you again. I trust you're well. I'm pleased to see that your beard has grown long and lustrous in my absence.

Astronuc said:
How about a presentation entitled "Plucking String Theory"? :biggrin:
Appropriate. I am a pheasant plucker. I will take a look at the links you provided straight away. Many thanks.

Astronuc said:
Perhaps one can pick a general are, e.g. cosmology or QM, and select a particular topic.
OK. Like what?


berkeman said:
The whole "missing neutrino" story is an amazing snapshot of physics in action, IMO. Great story, and it will be a challenge to distill it down to a 10 minute presentation. If you do it well, it will surely be A-material.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/neutrino/
A great story, I agree, and a great presentation idea, but alas it is a tale already told by our Particle Physics lecturer, over a much longer interval. Plus it suffers from the same problem as my current back-burner idea, the LIGO interferometer. That is, the audience (2nd year UGs) won't have the necessary background.

But certainly the right track. If you have any other thoughts, hurl them my way. Thanks a lot.

El Hombre.
 
  • #6
You could give a presentation on the physics puzzles posed by quasars. For inspiration, here is a very informative talk by Michael Strauss (SDSS scientific spokesperson), presented at the STSI on Nov 2, 2005.

http://www.stsci.edu/institute/center/information/streaming/archive/STScIScienceColloquiaFall2005/

You could refer to some papers by Fan, Strauss, et al. Basically, if quasars are at the distances implied by a conventional reading of their redshifts, the highest-redshift quasars (z~6.5) must have at least several billion solar masses and must reside in host galaxies of perhaps a trillion solar masses or more. You could tie in the the inverse-square law to illustrate how luminosity falls off with distance.

And one more tidbit - plotted against redshift, quasars show no evolution in absolute or relative metallicities, nor in any other parameters the SDSS team could measure. As Strauss gleefully points out in his presentation, theorists have not satisfactorily explained how such massive highly-metallized structures could have formed only a few hundred million years after the BB.

Such a presentation could be very stimulating. Unsolved puzzles will interest students more than a cut-and-dry "and that's how they did it" presentation regarding phenomena that they may have already been exposed to.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #7
turbo-1 said:
You could give a presentation on the physics puzzles posed by quasars. For inspiration, here is a very informative talk by Michael Strauss (SDSS scientific spokesperson), presented at the STSI on Nov 2, 2005.

http://www.stsci.edu/institute/center/information/streaming/archive/STScIScienceColloquiaFall2005/

You could refer to some papers by Fan, Strauss, et al. Basically, if quasars are at the distances implied by a conventional reading of their redshifts, the highest-redshift quasars (z~6.5) must have at least several billion solar masses and must reside in host galaxies of perhaps a trillion solar masses or more. You could tie in the the inverse-square law to illustrate how luminosity falls off with distance.

And one more tidbit - plotted against redshift, quasars show no evolution in absolute or relative metallicities, nor in any other parameters the SDSS team could measure. As Strauss gleefully points out in his presentation, theorists have not satisfactorily explained how such massive highly-metallized structures could have formed only a few hundred million years after the BB.

Such a presentation could be very stimulating. Unsolved puzzles will interest students more than a cut-and-dry "and that's how they did it" presentation regarding phenomena that they may have already been exposed to.

Thanks turbo-1. Sorry I did not reply sooner. My phone line is knackered so I have intermittent internet access. I did read your link but struggled to find more info on that specific problem suitable for the presentation. I have finally settled on a subject though. Thanks to all for your ideas.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

What is the purpose of a second year presentation topic?

A second year presentation topic is typically required as a part of a scientific curriculum to showcase a student's understanding of a particular subject and their ability to present it effectively. It allows students to practice their communication and presentation skills, which are essential for a career in science.

How do I choose a suitable topic for my second year presentation?

Choosing a topic for your second year presentation can be a daunting task. It is essential to select a topic that you are genuinely interested in and have some prior knowledge about. You can also consult with your professors and peers for suggestions and advice.

What are some tips for preparing a successful second year presentation?

To prepare a successful second year presentation, it is crucial to start early and allocate enough time for research and practice. Make sure to follow a clear structure, use visual aids, and engage your audience by explaining complex concepts in simple terms. It is also essential to rehearse your presentation multiple times before the actual day.

Can I present on a topic that has already been covered in class?

While it is not recommended to present on a topic that has already been covered in class, you can choose a different angle or aspect of the subject to make it more unique. However, it is always best to consult with your professor before deciding on a topic to ensure it meets the requirements.

What are some good resources for finding information for my second year presentation?

There are several resources available for finding information for your second year presentation, such as scientific journals, books, reliable websites, and databases. Your university library and online research tools can also be helpful in gathering relevant and credible information for your presentation.

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