SCIENCE:

ASTRONOMY

Our March meeting was held as usual held at the Driftwood Spars Hotel St Agnes, the meeting was very well attended.

The talk was on 'The Universe' we looked at how astronomers and cosmologist in the 20th and current centuries have come to start to understand about the origin, nature and development of the universe. We saw that recent discoveries that the universe is expanding at an ever increasing rate has led to theories about 'dark matter' and 'dark energy'.
Following the presentation a lively discussion ensued.
Our next meeting will be on Monday 8th April, 2pm at the Driftwood Spars.
The subject of the talk will be 'Black Holes', one of the strangest objects in our universe. We will look at how from being a theoretical predication evidence of their existence was found, how they may be formed, some of their properties and the paradox they present modern physics.


Bob Williams 01326 219334


 

SCIENCE MEETING.


Please note that the time and day of the meetings for 2018 has been changed to 10:30 on the second Thursday of month at the Victoria Inn, Threemilestone Coffee is available from 10.00 am.

The Vic are offering us a special morning snack deal. A croissant + coffee for £4:00 or bacon bap + coffee for £5:00. Also if you are planning to have lunch and/or attending the quiz later, then reserve a table in advance on 01872 278313 and mention that you are with the science or quiz group. 


On 14th March we had a fascinating talk on’ A Gold Bonanza and a Copper Mine under a Glacier’ by Chris Burton who had worked as a geologist in various mines around the world.  After a potted history of the Pacific North West which included the Stewart Gold Rush of the 1920’s, he talked about the most challenging time of his career in 1962-3 while working at the Granduc Mine, a remote and inhospitable location, 600 miles north of Vancouver and 30 miles from the nearest settlement of Stewart. The mine site was a collection of Portacabins on skids, on the middle of the Leduc glacier, which moved about 10 feet each week. The site had no road access and was exposed to endless Pacific storms with up to 800 inches of snow and rain annually which made it at increased risk of avalanches.
There were about 50 people on site and most of the miners were Finns. They were excellent, tough and hard-working, but every 3 weeks they needed to be flown to Prince Rupert for a couple of days on a vodka spree to maintain their good work rate. The camp’s food supplies had to be stored in a heavily barricaded old mine tunnel, to prevent bears, who were particularly fond of tinned jam, from raiding.  
Chris had to supervise a drilling programme to assess the depth of several glaciers under which a 11 mile railroad tunnel, 15 feet in diameter, was to be constructed. The glacier was most dangerous in the summer when a thin coating of snow concealed crevasses. Sadly one of their team died after falling into one. Chris had left before the tunnel building started. In February 1965 a violent snow storm dropped 10 feet of snow at Granduc that triggered an avalanche which demolished most of the camp with a loss of 26 lives.
On Thursday 11th April Arthur Willis will talk on ‘Radioactive Waste Management and Decommissioning in the UK’.
Speaker’s Overview
Following on from my talk on the history of nuclear power in the UK this talk addresses several of the key issues or challenges for nuclear power if it is to continue to be deployed in the UK, in particular waste management and decommissioning. I will describe the sources of radioactive waste arising from the nuclear power programme in the UK, the quantities and how they are currently being managed. I will then discuss the current UK strategy for the decommissioning of our redundant nuclear power plants, which will also lead to large quantities of radioactive waste, and describe experience to date. Finally I will present the current proposals for the disposal of these wastes in the UK, and compare with practices elsewhere in Europe and America. 
Roy Fisher    01872 270528        raf59@talktalk.net


For all activities, please check our Google Calendar to confirm dates, times and locations

Pat Harrod & Wendy MorrisGroups coordinator