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

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Microgravity: living on the International Space Station

Week 3 The quantum world


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.

Download this video clip.Video player: Video 1
Skip transcript: Video 1 Introduction to Week 3

Transcript: Video 1 Introduction to Week 3

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.
End transcript: Video 1 Introduction to Week 3
Video 1 Introduction to Week 3
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

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.

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371