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Exploring Physics the Nobel Way

Exploring Science the Nobel Way

We will be organising the ‘Nobel Experiment in Physics’ workshops in 2014, targeted at Upper Secondary to Junior College students. The key idea in these workshops is to enable students to appreciate the thinking of Physics Nobel Laureates during the process of experimentation that led to their paradigm-shifting discoveries. The workshops will be fully subsidized by NUS High School for West Zone Schools.

Details of the workshops that will be run are as follows:

Workshop Title
Cloud Chamber Photoelectric Effect Opticks
Description Charged particles, such as alpha and beta particles, are all around us – but not visible to the naked eye. In order to study these elementary particles in more detail, nuclear physicists have come up with the cloud chamber. In a supersaturated enclosed condition, charged particles will leave distinctive tracks in the “mist”, which are caused by the ionisation of the vapour.

In this workshop, students will learn the theory behind the cloud chamber and about elementary particles in greater detail. There will also be a hands-on session where students will construct their own cloud chamber using materials such as acrylic containers and isopropyl alcohol. They will then learn to identify the particles based on the distinctive tracks in the supersaturated mist.
In the past, scientists were uncertain about whether light was a particle or a wave. The wave theory gained popularity due to Young’s double-slit experiment and Maxwell’s equations, which seemed to show conclusively that light was a wave. However, the photoelectric effect, as observed by Hertz and Lenard, supported the theory that light was also a particle. Einstein proposed that the photoelectric effect was caused by quanta of light, called photons. The photoelectric effect became an important foundation of quantum mechanics.

In this workshop, students will get to conduct the photoelectric experiment, and observe the relationships between light intensity, frequency, current and voltage. They will also learn to derive the value of Planck’s constant using data obtained from the experiment.
The world has become a smaller place in this modern-day age of high-speed technology and fast-paced communications. Fiber optics – in which light is reflected inside plastic or glass fibers – forms the basic structure of our telecommunications system.

In this workshop, students will begin with the basics of light and learn about light properties such as reflection and refraction through our unique optics sets. This will reinforce what students have learnt in their upper secondary syllabus on optics. Students will also get to carry out experiments investigating critical angles and attenuation rates, which forms the basis for fiber optics technology. Some useful applications of optical fibers in our everyday life will also be introduced.
Duration 2 hours 3 hours 3 hours
(Year 2014)
30th August 23rd August 13th Sept
Vacancies (15) (Full) (11)
Times* 9 am – 11 am 9 am – 12 pm 9 am – 12 pm
Venue NUS High School
Class Size 20 students
Course Fee Fully subsidized
Target Level Upper Secondary to Junior College Secondary school

*Flexible dates (Saturday mornings) can be arranged for schools which have sign-ups of more than 15 students (maximum 20).

We hope that you will encourage your students to participate in these workshops, which can complement or supplement the science curriculum in your school. NUS High School also supports schools that wish to run these workshops on their own school. Workshops for teachers and laboratory technicians can be arranged.

Please feel free to contact us at [email protected] if your school has any queries. Thank you.


You can register your students for the workshop through:
1.      Emailing this form to [email protected]

Registration Instructions
  1. Please fill in all the information required.
  2. The teacher IC/s will be the main point/s of contact for the group.
  3. A reference no. will be given after confirmation of registration through an email.
  4. Registration forms must be submitted 2 weeks prior to the commencement of the course for dates which have been fixed by NUS High.
  5. If you would like to request an alternative date, please submit your forms 1 month prior to the date requested.

Cancellation instructions
Any cancellations or amendments must be made 1 week prior to the commencement of the course via telephone (6516 8648).

Note: A teacher chaperon must be present during the day of the workshop.