During my online GCSE Physics tutoring sessions I mention how Electricity is made. And a key extension to that is also how electricity is distributed. The system is called the National Grid and is Great Britain’s electrical transmission and distribution system. In my 2nd year Summer Engineering placement I worked for an electrical distribution company and visited substations.
The National Grid and pumped storage are both part of GCSE Physics, albeit module P1 for AQA Physics, for which the exams have already been and gone in 2017.
Nonetheless the following website is absoltuely amazing in giving you a live up date on nationwide electrical production. It gives you a live pie chart on the different sources of energy, and the distribution of renewable vs non renewable. Not only that but it also gives you an indication on how much pumped storage electricity is available. Pumped storage is in the Physics syllabus as well.
Some other pretty cool things you can see are that there are direct electricity lines between the UK, France and Holland. That way electricity can both be imported and exported.
So click on this link here and check out what’s happening in terms of the National Grid right now.
National Grid : Live Status
Now this is a deep deep question. And one that we all ask. In fact, do we really know if the universe is even finite at all? Fortunately the answer to this is covered at school in the context of Astronomy in Physics. Finite or infinite, according to the latest information on Physics, and the measurements we have made so far, it is possible to get a very good picture on this. But how can one put this into context, or visualise this?
This is a video I show to all my Physics students, it is a totally mindblowing visualisation of the universe, zooming out of the earth, into the solar system, how the solar system fits into the Milky Way galaxy, and where the Milky way fits in amongst many many galaxies. Produced by the American Museum of Natural History, and with a beautiful ambient trance like soundtrack this short video will take you on a very long journey away and then back from earth.
The distances are measured in how fast light travels, because in the big scheme of things light is very slow indeed. While it takes roughly 8 minutes for light to get from the Sun to the Earth, it takes millions of years to get to us from the outer reaches of the universe.
This video fascinates all my students, it will leave you stunned and in awe knowing where you fit into the big scheme of things. It is a total joy to be able to share this with my students, and I never get bored of watching it again and again, a truly great Physics resource. Hit play and enjoy the ride.