Click below to read a summary of the Cosmology project ideas for Bronze, Silver, and Gold awards; or to go back to project ideas click here .
Design a timeline of the Universe, from ‘The Big Bang’ to ‘The Big Chill’
In this project you need to find out all about the history of the universe. Then you’ll produce a presentation that shows when different important events took place. If your school has a long corridor you could design a long ‘timeline’ that summarises the history of the Universe to fit in this corridor.
Investigate a model of The Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMBR) by monitoring how the temperature of a hot object changes with time as the heat source is switched off
The Universe can be imagined as one (very large) object. When it came into existence, at The Big Bang, it was unimaginably hot, and has subsequently cooled over time. Unlike a hot object cooling on Earth, the Universe doesn’t have anything to exchange heat with – it just expands, gets bigger, and shares the energy out more! But, a hot cooling object is still a good first step to try to investigate CMBR.
To investigate the Doppler Effect
When a moving object emits a sound, the sound is altered by the movement. If the object is moving towards an observer, the frequency of the sound appears to increase; if the object moves away from the observer, the frequency of the sound appears to decrease. This is called the Doppler Effect.
You can investigate the Doppler Effect by mounting a loudspeaker on a dynamics trolley (or the slider of a linear air track) and analysing the sound emitted from it using a microphone and an oscilloscope. The sound emitted by the loudspeaker can be controlled by using a signal generator. If your oscilloscope has a Fourier Transform function, it should be able to measure the frequency of the sound picked up by the loudspeaker. You could then measure the Doppler Shift, the difference between the emitted frequency and the received frequency.