The Aberdeen Treasure Trail!
Welcome to Au Science, a science magazine from students at the University of Aberdeen! From the 17th August until the 9th September we are running a special science-themed treasure hunt, designed by us and brought to you by the Aberdeen Branch of the British Science Association.
Take part, pick up a copy of the trail from the Belmont cinema, Kilau, or print one off below. When you’re done, email the answer, along with a picture of you taking part, to email@example.com for a chance to win a host of science goodies and cinema tickets for the Belmont Cinema! There’s also some great discounts for those taking part at our supporters Bibi’s Bakery and Kilau coffee!
The trail starts at the Belmont Cinema and takes a circular route for 2 miles. It is suitable for families and adults. If you’re stuck on a clue, or want to discuss the science around Aberdeen with like minded people, visit our forum!
To find out about all the amazing events that will be happening in Aberdeen between the 4th and 9th of September, visit the festival website.
Here’s a little more about the science behind the treasure hunt.
Time travel, hyperdrives and teleportation may all seem a long way off but a great deal of the technology we have today was written in the pages of science fiction yesterday. Submarines, the Internet and even e-books themselves all started out on the pages of fictional works. Star Trek, most notably, predicted things like touch screens, motion sensor doors, and voice controls. So pay attention next time you’re in the cinema, because there might be a gadget on the silver screen that needs some scientific input.
Discovered by John Hughes and Hans Kosterlitz at the University of Aberdeen in the 1970s, endorphins are a natural opiate (a bit like a painkiller) that are released when the body is stressed. Endorphins are released when we exercise which gives us a feeling of well-being.
The Iron lung:
The iron lung is a mechanical device that helps a person to breathe. In the 1930s Dr Robert Henderson introduced the first iron lung to Britain, he created devices that fitted onto cots in the children’s ward at Aberdeen City Hospital, it became known as the Henderson Respirator.
This year celebrated the 90th anniversary of the discovery of insulin to treat diabetes. Insulin is a vital hormone produced by the pancreas that is involved in the storage of glucose in the body, but diabetics are not able produce insulin properly. Insulin was co-discovered by John Macleod who was a professor of physiology at the University of Aberdeen, and received a Nobel prize for his work in 1923.
The study of mythical creatures:
Also know as cryptozoology. You can find out more about it in issue 2 of Au Science magazine.
Sound made of:
The vibration of an object causes the air around it to vibrate, these vibrations are known as sound waves, it’s a bit like when you see ripples on water. When these waves hit the ear drum it sends a signal to the brain that we interpret as sound.
This refers to electric currents and magnetic fields, these were originally thought to be entirely separate but James Clerk Maxwell demonstrated how the two interact, and the study of electromagnetism was founded.
This is when a single object appears to differ in it’s position when viewed from different angles. Our own eyes give us two different fields of vision that overlap allowing us to determine a depth of field. Sir David Gill applied this method to planets to determine the distance to the sun.
Comets are made of rock and ice and according to NASA can range from the size of a baseball to 1/3 size of the moon! It is collisions between comets that created Earth. The name comet comes from the Greek word meaning ‘hair of the head’, it came from Aristotle who observed comets as ‘stars with hair’
The oldest tree:
The elm trees in Union Terrace Gardens may be 200 years old but there are young compared to other tree species in the UK. Oak trees can live for over 1000 years while it is believed that one of the oldest yew trees in the UK may be around 4000 years old!
Getting into Science
If you’re interested in studying science at university there are numerous different courses at Robert Gordon’s University and the University of Aberdeen. Covering topics from forensic science to computer science there’s disciplines to suit all, you can find out more on each university’s website. Or you can find about some of the fantastic research going on throughout Aberdeen right here in Au!
Download the Treasure Hunt here!