Microgravity: living on the International Space Station
Microgravity: living on the International Space Station

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Microgravity: living on the International Space Station

Week 3 The quantum world

Introduction

In Week 1, you looked at the large physical values involving the ISS, Earth and the Moon. In Week 2, you looked at the effects of microgravity and ageing in the context of ‘bed rest’. This week, you will look at very small physical values – the quantum world. You will also see how quantum experiments are used in the context of the ISS.

First, watch Video 1 which introduces what this week will cover.

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Transcript: Video 1 Introduction to Week 3

HELEN:
So here we are in week 3, moving into the quantum world and the world of special relativity, in actual fact, thinking about how the very, very small is being tested in space to understand the very, very large and important societal issues that we're addressing here on Earth to do with security, timing, so-called metrology, or measurement of things. This week, we're going to be looking at some pretty exciting experiments that show that light can be considered as both a wave and a particle. We're going to be understanding how this experiment behind me is helping us with the future-- potential future of satellites. And we're going to be looking at the ways in which the International Space Station is being used to run experiments rather like this one here at the Open University. Let's go jump into the quantum world.
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Video 1 Introduction to Week 3
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By the end of this week, you should be able to:

  • consider how quantum science experiments are being conducted on the ISS
  • understand logarithmic powers (powers of ten) and how they describe the whole Universe
  • explain the types of scientific research that can benefit from microgravity environments
  • consider powers of ten and the difference between positive and negative values.
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