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Category Archives: Science Group
At our January meeting we had a presentation by four eminent NASA scientists (via YouTube) who had been researching the possibility of life on other planets and moons within our solar system and on exoplanets elsewhere in the universe. We discovered that life on earth took at least 1-2 billion years to evolve and even then the planet was still not suitable for life as we know it today. We also learned that modern humans evolved some 600,000 years ago but that we have only been able to use technology for some 200 years. Is it then not surprising that we have not been able to find life outside the Earth. It was also suggested that the human race might be the first intelligent life in the universe as it takes billions of years to evolve and the Big Bang happened some 13.75 billion years ago. It would seem that conditions on other planets and moons and within the universe are suitable for life to develop. There are life forms on earth that live in extreme environments very similar to the conditions in the solar system. The consensus was that life will be found elsewhere within the next say 20 years.
Several members of the Group gave biographies of British scientists who have made a great contribution to the world of science and recent news reports from within the scientific community.
Please contact the group leader, Jim Spray, using the form below:-
On the 15th September members of Science 1 and Science 2 met in the ‘ballroom’ of the John Godber Centre for a presentation on ‘Moons of the Solar System’ by Dr Nigel Marshall.
The photograph shows Nigel demonstrating the inverse square law with two glamorous assistants.
Next Meeting Friday 20th October 10am to 11.55am
Item 1: Consideration of dates for a joint Science 1 and 2 Christmas 2017 Science Quiz
Item 2: Our theme is ‘Global Warming’
Introduction and setting the scene: David Rose
The Greenland Project: John Tedstone
There will be opportunities for questions and discussion on this topic.
Science 1 and 2 December Meeting
This month we had a combined event a ‘Science of Christmas Quiz’
The teams were a mix of science 1 and 2 members with 35 questions each from Quizmasters David Rose and Rob McEwen.
Following the U3A code of practice seasonal refreshments were taken at half time, a surfeit of mince pies, cakes and savoury items together with soft drinks tea and coffee.
As scientists we are especially keen on healthy eating and so of course salad was available
Thanks to Christine Berrill, Marguerite Hodkinson and their helpers for coordinating the food and drink.
All the teams did well but the worthy winners were a team consisting of: Freddie Ridley and John Daniels from group 1 and Alan and Janet Newton from group 2.
Science Quiz Photos
David Rose and James Spray
Science Group 1 continues on its journey of success make no mistake about it SG1 follows the guiding principles and objectives of the Real U3A those of education, learning and member contribution. Super co-ordinator General Jim Spray having previously forged links with Nottingham University has gone that extra step and created a relationship now with Nottingham Trent University. This month saw final year undergraduates from NTU bring along the following : –
Virtual Reality Driving Simulator:
Screening for Levels of Driver Fitness in Geriatrics
This project has been constructed to test the driver fitness of both young drivers against elderly drivers (commonly referred to as wrinkly drivers) through the means of a virtual reality driving simulator. It is composed of 3 main components; the first is the test itself (software) which has been designed within a game engine specifically for this purpose. The second component is a head-mounted display (virtual reality headset) called the “Oculus Rift” which will be the display for the testing. The final part will be a steering wheel and pedals, just like a regular car however without a handbrake or gears, only steering, throttle and brake will be necessary to operate the vehicle in the simulator.
Purpose of Investigation
The nature of this investigation is to discover if using a methodology such as this can be utilised to determine if a driver is fit for vehicle use or not. As opposed to traditional methodology of examining a driver after an accident to see if his/her physical abilities were to blame. By potentially adding this additional examination to a standard medical examination, the results could determine if a driver is a danger to themselves and others, more importantly before an accident can occur.
What is Virtual Reality?
Virtual reality or virtual realities (VR), which can be referred to as immersive multimedia or computer-simulated reality, replicates an environment that simulates a physical presence in places in the real world or an imagined world, allowing the user to interact in that world. Virtual realities artificially create sensory experiences, which can include sight, touch, hearing, and smell.
SG1 Research Project by Bob McEwan
Pulling on our own resources and talent Bob McEwan gave a superb presentation on “The changing world of work and the new Industrial Revolution” A brief history of the changes in working practices over the years was brought bang up to date with further presentation on the way we are changing our work ethic in a modern society. The use of AI (Artificial Intelligence) was well covered along with global resourcing of a workforce through computing, no longer are companies reliant on staff from their own locality the humble Laptop and computing has changed the world forever. This excellent presentation which created a lively discussion amongst SG1 group members on the possible future progress of scientific development