Physicopoeia

φυσικοποιΐα
THINGS I WISH I'D KNOWN WHEN I STARTED TEACHING PHYSICS

Hubble's Law is usually dealt with very theoretically at school level, rather than practically. This is inevitable, to an extent, but runs the risk of not emphasising to pupils how empirical a discovery it was.

 

The activity below allows pupils to see exactly how the data is gathered and do their own measurements - which allows them to appreciate the limitations on it - and ultimately to get a value for the Hubble Parameter and hence the age of the Universe. If you build this up in the right way, 'measuring the age of the universe' is a pretty impressive outcome for a paper-based school activity.

  • The first pdf file has the images of the galaxies and their spectra on it - definitely best printed at A3 size to make the measurements more accurate.
  • The second pdf takes you through the technique of exactly what needs to be measured and in what order, and has a table to fill in as you go along.
  • The Excel file contains my measurements for comparison together with a graph and all the calculations.

Enjoy!