Category: AQA Unit 2 Forces/ Motion/ Waves

New Scientist News: Beer brewing could help make better bricks

Beer brewing could help make better bricks

THERE’S more to brewing than beer. A by-product of the process could be about to give an upgrade to a workhorse building material – red clay bricks. By blending in the grains left over from making beer, the bricks can be more environmentally friendly and better insulators.

Bricks are often impregnated with polystyrene as a way to enhance their heat-trapping abilities. This is appealing, because the bricks remain strong, and they can be built into energy-efficient buildings, says Eduardo Ferraz of the Polytechnic Institute of Tomar in Portugal. However, EU restrictions on carbon emissions have made it expensive to incorporate polystyrene and other synthetic materials into bricks.

Ferraz and his colleagues have now shown that brewery grains can be mixed into clay bricks to enhance their ability to trap heat, without compromising strength.

Spent grain for the process should be easily available, because commercial breweries produce huge quantities of it as a pulpy mixture that is usually used in animal feed or ends up in landfill.

With a clay paste containing 5 per cent spent grains, the team was able to create bricks just as strong as the conventional type, while reducing the amount of heat they lost by 28 per cent (Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering, The reason for this, the team says, is that the grains make the bricks more porous, and so they trap more air, which increases heat retention.

One thing could stand in the way of using this process, though: the smell. Bill Daidone of the Acme Brick Company, one of the largest brick manufacturers in the US, says his lab abandoned experiments because the stench of the moist grains was overpowering. “We opened up the bucket and it was terrible,” he says. This problem vanishes once the bricks are fired, though, says Ferraz.

Bricks that provide insulation without sacrificing strength could be a big boost to the brick industry, says John Sanders, a researcher at the National Brick Research Center at Clemson University in South Carolina.

“With the current concern for energy codes, I think the industry is open to change,” Sanders says.

This article appeared in print under the headline “Brewing benefits? Alcohol, hangovers and better bricks”

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Secret of Bolt’s speed unveiled

Secret of Bolt’s speed unveiled


Secret of Usain Bolt’s speed unveiled

By Melissa HogenboomScience reporter, BBC News

Usain Bolt wins the 100mBolt’s 2012 Olympic record of 9.63 seconds in the 100m final was not his fastest 100m sprint

Scientists say they can explain Usain Bolt’s extraordinary speed with a mathematical model.

His 100m time of 9.58 seconds during the 2009 World Championships in Berlin is the current world record.

They say their model explains the power and energy he had to expend to overcome drag caused by air resistance, made stronger by his frame of 6ft 5in.

Writing in the European Journal of Physics, the team hope to discover what makes extraordinary athletes so fast.

According to the mathematical model proposed, Bolt’s time of 9.58 seconds in Berlin was achieved by reaching a speed of 12.2 metres per second, equivalent to about 27mph.

The team calculated that Bolt’s maximum power occurred when he was less than one second into the race and was only at half his maximum speed. This demonstrates the near immediate effect of drag, which is where air resistance slows moving objects.

They also discovered less than 8% of the energy his muscles produced was used for motion, with the rest absorbed by drag.

Jamaica's Usain Bolt celebrates after winning the men's 100m final The 2012 gold medallist became a worldwide sensation

When comparing Bolt’s body mass, the altitude of the track and the air temperature, they found out that his drag coefficient – which is a measure of the drag per unit area of mass – was actually less aerodynamic than that of the average man.

Jorge Hernandez of the the National Autonomous University of Mexico said: “Our calculated drag coefficient highlights the outstanding ability of Bolt. He has been able to break several records despite not being as aerodynamic as a human can be.

“The enormous amount of work that Bolt developed in 2009, and the amount that was absorbed by drag, is truly extraordinary.

“It is so hard to break records nowadays, even by hundredths of a second, as the runners must act very powerfully against a tremendous force which increases massively with each bit of additional speed they are able to develop.

“This is all because of the ‘physical barrier’ imposed by the conditions on Earth. Of course, if Bolt were to run on a planet with a much less dense atmosphere, he could achieve records of fantastic proportions.

“The accurate recording of Bolt’s position and speed during the race provided a splendid opportunity for us to study the effects of drag on a sprinter.

“If more data become available in the future, it would be interesting to see what distinguishes one athlete from another,” added Mr Hernandez.

Bolt 2012Bolt (L) is known to be a

Bolt’s time in Berlin was the biggest increase in the record since electronic timing was introduced in 1968.

John Barrow at Cambridge University who has previously analysed how Bolt could become even faster, explained that his speed came in part due his “extraordinary large stride length”, despite having such an initial slow reaction time to the starting gun.

“He has lots of fast twitch muscle fibres that can respond quickly, coupled with his fast stride is what gives him such an extraordinary fast time.”

He said Bolt has lots of scope to break his record if he responded faster at the start, ran with a slightly stronger tail-wind and at a higher altitude, where there was less drag.

Bolt’s Berlin record was won with a tail wind of only 0.9m per second, which didn’t give him “the advantage of helpful wind assistance”, he added.

“You’re allowed to have a wind no greater than 2m per second to count for record purposes, so without becoming any faster he has huge scope to improve,” Prof Barrow told BBC News.

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Material halts liquid flow on demand

Material halts liquid flow on demand

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6 Forces in Equilibrium

This is a unit where you can really go to town on the problems with the vectors. You must read the specification carefully and make sure that you don’t panic if you can’t do all the problems in the post. I have included lots of vector problems which go 360° where the exam board will tend to stick to 90° only to make it easier. However, I am in the business of teaching vectors in 2D and would say I would be a bad teacher to stop just because the exam board don’t do it. You will need the skills found here if you carry on to a Physics type job later on so why not learn now. Most students say it is really hard at first but then the exam is easy and they get it after a bit of graft!

Also you may find it hard to understand the idea that…

  1. A diagonal vector can be split into two parts the horizontal and vertical parts which can be treated separately.
  2. Two forces can be added together to make a resultant.
  3. An object not moving has a sum of all vertical forces as zero and also all horizontal forces as zero.

If you find this is hard keep going as it will click!


6.1 Vectors and Scalars

6.1 Trig Problems (You must have these trig skills before you start the problems)

Unit_7_Statics_Dynamics_Vectors_1 (Easy problems sheet)

6_1_Wires Example (This is an example of resolving – hanging a picture)

Unit_7_Statics_Dynamics_Vectors_2 (Rock Hard Problems Sheet beyond AS/A2)

6.2 Balanced Forces

6_2_Resultant Forces Problems (quick fun problems – no answers)

72_Practical_Coplanar_Forces (practical proving coplanar forces)

6.3 The principle of moments

6_3_Density_of_Ruler_Prac (Use moments to find out density of ruler)

6.4 More on moments

6_4_Bridge_Crane_Prac (Practical showing support forces)

6_4_Putting_Your_Foot_Down_Extension (Nice but more complex sheet on moments in your feet)


M13a Introduction to Forces. Part 1 of 4. Weight

Introductory lesson in a series of lessons about force. Provides a brief introduction to the study of forces and then discusses 'weight'. Subsequent parts of the lesson will deal with normal reaction, friction and tension/compression.Show More

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7 On The Move (Motion)

The trick to this unit is simply to do lots of calculations over and over again. Test out what you think, try out the animations and you will be able to do the exam questions. The nuts and bolts are important for every calculation. Try to set up each problem with a diagram and then apply one of the UAM equations. If the problem is setup correctly you cannot go wrong. Don’t try and wing it!

I have now worked out every problem in the test book for this unit and answers are shown below so if you need help then here is a place to start.


7.1 Speed and Velocity

7_1_Problems_svt (Problems sheet)

7_1_Problems_Thrust_SSC_vt (Problems sheet)

7.2 Acceleration

 7_2_Practical_Acceleration (worksheet + instructions)

incline plane prac example (PDF Example Practical)

Results Trolley Down Ramp (XLS)

7.3 Motion along a straight line at constant acceleration

7_3_Problems (Problems sheet)

73_HSW_Equations_of_motion (Problems sheet HSW)

7.4 Free fall




7_4_Gravity Worksheet (Problem Sheet)

7.5 Motion graphs

 7_5_ball_handout (Reading)

7_5_Exam_questions (Problem Sheet)

7_5_vta_graphs (Data logging analysis for angles of drop)

7_5_Practice Questions (More Quick Questions)

7.6 More calculations on mot ion along a straight line

7_6_Motion and Forces Exam (Exam Exercise with Example Answers)

7.7/7.8 Projectile Motion 1

77_Extension_Projectiles (HSW Activity)

7_8_Practical Sheet (Projectiles Problem sheet in 2D)


M12c Projectiles Part 3 of 3

How to deal with basic projectile calculations

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8 Motion and force

This is a unit which really many find quite difficult. To help yourself out you must learn Newton’s 1st, 2nd and 3rd law of forces. Without this knowledge you cannot succeed in explaining or reasoning out most questions. Also there is a basic principle of coplanar forces producing a resultant and therefore acceleration. It is simple as it is…

Big – Small = Resultant in the Direction of Big!

There is an easy way to remember the laws….

1)     Inertia – “Objects” – don’t want to move but when moving find it difficult to stop

2)   F=ma – or ratio F/m = a which is more appropriate. The acceleration on a fat person is found as the ratio of the force of the push to the mass of the person

3)   Opposites – for every force their is an opposite. Fat person on chair pushing down, chair pushes up to support weight with equal and opposite force.



8.1 Force and acceleration

8_1_Newtons Laws (Help sheet)


8.2 Using F=ma  (or F/m = a)


8.3 Terminal speed

83_Terminal Speed Practical (Worksheet – Advanced Extension)

8_3_Termnial V Results for BB (Excel Results)


8.4 On the Road


8.5 Vehicle safety

85_Extension_Vehicle_safety (HSW Worksheet)

85_Practical_Sports Shoe (HSW Worksheet)


AS_9_2_Pully Explaination.flv

Simple idea of F=ma shows that Big-Small = acceleration in direction of Big.

So F = ma ............... T - mg = ma etc....

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10 Work, Energy and Power

This work builds upon the Y11 work from Additional Science. You should be able to derive the Kinetic Energy formulae, understand the concept of work done and how that can be expressed as an idea of Power. Also the efficiency of devices and some idea about how to apply that to real situations such as solar cells or power stations. The crux of this unit is to be able to construct calculations in your head without the use of usual formulae from a sheet. The way around this is to write down all the quantities that you know and then physically try and express the problem step by step. Don’t try and jump to the answer as you will get it wrong. Also check out your units carefully and check that match.

10 Work Energy Power

10 Work and Power Student Booklet

10.1 Work and energy

work (Practical Raising Mass)

10.2 Kinetic energy and potential energy

10_2_ke_derivation (Help sheet)

102_Table Tennis Practical (Practical Exp)

 10_2_kinetic_animation (Quick Comparison Animation)

Bouncing Ball Practical (Excel Blank sheet)

10.3 Power

10.4 Energy and efficiency

104_HSW_the_escalator (HWS Worksheet on Escalators)

10_4_elastic (Practical on Elastic Stored Energy)

10_4_lifting a load (Lifting a Load Efficiency)

10.4 Effciency of a Motor

10. 4 Conservation of Energy Analysis

10.5 Renewable energy

10_5_SOL_A5 (efficiency of solar cells practical)

10_5_SOL_R1 (data sheet for practical)

Results (XLS Example Results)

10_5_solar_size_cost (Real Solar Cell Data Calculator)

10_5_Incident_solar_radiation (Real Solar Cell Data Calculator)


Episode 8 Work

1 of 2 Next

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11 Materials

This unit depends on an ability to explain and understand force extensiona and YM graphs. It is one of the easy topics but also easy to drop marks if you don’t learn the graphs. Also take care of your areas and units as mm don’t convert well to m when you square them for an area calculation!


11 Materials  (Main notes)

11 Materials Student Booklet (Activities)

No Answers End Unit quiz (End Topic Quiz)

10.1 Density

10.2 Springs

 112_Hookes Law Practical

11_2_Robert Hooke Info

finding k (Excel Results)

10.3 Deformation of solids

11_3_Glass_UTS (Excel Results)

11_3_YM_Wire_Prac (Practical Sheet)

13_3_YM_wire (Excel Results)

11_3_Glass_Properties (Extension Materials)

11_3_YM_metal_rubber (Results and Comparison)

11_3_YM_Silk_Strand (Further Reading)

10.4 More about stress and strain

114_Scaling (HSW – Scaling Activity)

11_4_Crystaline_structure_of_solids (Further Reading)



Archemedes inventions : Golden crown in water bath

Ancient greek mathematician, physicist, engineer, inventor, and astronomer Archimedes invents through the past to nowdays.

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