Author Topic: Discussion topic  (Read 1078 times)

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Offline Snowfox

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Discussion topic
« on: January 06, 2014, 08:51:08 am »
So as a part of my college's debate/scholar society I have to give a talk on my chosen subject later this month.
We've had plenty of interesting talks, things like "the origin of language" or "homeopathy and vaccinations".

My chosen subject is physics, which give me a pretty wide range of topics to talk about but it would be nice if I could have a debatable topic.
I wanted you guys to give your opinion on the following topics, as to which you'd like to hear:

-Space - This would involve the discussion of Drakes equations (chance of life on other planets), hubble telescope (specifically ultra deep field) and our perspective in the universe (make them feel small!)

-CERN - This would be a discussion on the fairly recent higgs boson discovery, what it's useful for and where next? It would also be about the cost of massive projects such as CERN and are they worth it ?

-Nuclear fusion - This would be a talk on the recent steps made towards achieving nuclear fusion on earth, with comparisons to nuclear fission, a discussion of the physics behind it and the ITER fusion reactor in France.

-Quantum mechanics - This would be about the peculiarity of the quantum world, to include the four fundamental forces and maybe a little string theory. And I'd have to include Schrodinger's cat! XD

Thanks!

TL;DR (what topic would you be most interested from the above list)
...Snow    

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Offline Jethro

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Re: Discussion topic
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2014, 10:40:00 am »
I say talking about CERN would be best. There's a whole bunch you can get. Like the whole "neutrino" that came up a year or so ago. And how scientists saw that it traveled faster than light, which is an incredible feat of physics that could possibly be the answer to time travel!

And then there was the whole debate on how they messed up and whatnot. The Higgs Boson (or God Particle for stupid people) is also a pretty awesome discovery, since they believe that the field it is in is what gives everything in the universe mass.

And you could also talk about the cost for projects as you put already. Because I'm sure that it costs a lot, and most of their data is in the theoretical stage. Good luck on the project/assignment!

Offline Drakefoxaroo

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Re: Discussion topic
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2014, 01:46:07 pm »
Drakes Equation
for obvious reasons
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We breathe in the heat of the eternal flame, the warmth of desert sands.
We submerge into the waters of the Mystery, giving thanks for the cleansing rains.
We are enveloped in the radiance of the cosmos.
And we are the center, the bridge between realms.

Offline Snowfox

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Re: Discussion topic
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2014, 03:31:02 pm »
Come on guys! I was hoping there'd be more opinions than this!

I am leaning toward the space related one.
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Offline Access Denied

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Re: Discussion topic
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2014, 07:06:00 pm »
I am leaning toward the space related one.

Then go for it. Obviously Space-related seems to be where your interest is strongest.

How long are you expected to talk for?
Are you used to public speaking? I am.

Assuming the above, flesh out the very best essay on the Space-related topic with bullet points for easy reference when talking. The key to all this is a larger font size so it's easier to glance down and read while standing at the lectern. Project your voice to the furthest point of the room.

Try not be tempted to look the people in the front row.  Last summer I nearly came unstuck when public speaking at college as some idiot in the front row was deliberately picking his nose trying to distract me, the little sod. Instead, look at their foreheads giving the impression you've got their attention. And always give a little smile.

Offline Snowfox

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Re: Discussion topic
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2014, 11:23:20 am »
The talk is around 20 minutes to a group size of roughly 50.

I'm used to talking publicly as I have a job as a tour guide at a local observatory! The actual speaking doesn't phase me, it's more the choice of topic to keep everyone interested.

I'll keep you guys up date with the progress.
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"Not all those who wander are lost"

Offline Placeholder

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Re: Discussion topic
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2014, 05:47:53 am »
Look at the wall across the room. Image nobody exist

Offline Maximumcool2

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Re: Discussion topic
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2014, 02:47:21 am »
Quantum Mechanics
It's so stange and interesting it's bound to start a good debate.
And you can't go wrong with Schrodinger's cat
Maybe you could discuss the question of "what is an object doing when I look away? Is the object really there?"
Then you could get into how the cat brings up the question of free will.

Offline Snowfox

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Re: Discussion topic
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2014, 04:12:56 pm »
Decided on space, made the presentation today, presenting it a week monday so plenty of time. I decided to make the official title "Are we alone in the Universe" with an excellent quote from Douglas Adams to start it off.
Roughly the order goes:
-Life on Earth
-Sense of scale in the universe
-Drakes equation
-Golidlocks region
-Closer to home (talking about Titan and Europa as potential sources for life in our own solar system. Pretty interesting stuff.)
-The future

In the nest 12 years SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) plan to search over a million star systems! I love doing little projects like this; you end up learning a lot. I'm ending it with a discussion about first contact, as history has proven (Aztecs and Conquistadors) it has not always gone well.
I need to work out what I'll say for each part but it's coming together.

Wish me luck!
...Snow    

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"Not all those who wander are lost"