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By Way2k Way2k
Way2k 1 Oct 2012
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Two students stretch out to space
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Two school kids from the city have secured a berth in the final of a global science competition, YouTube Space Lab. And if they win, their experiment will be live streamed from International Space Station to classrooms across the world.

Two students stretch out to space

For siblings, Megha Sharma, age 17 years, and Karan Sapolia Sharma, age 15 years, “the journey from enrollment to selection has been thrilling. For us, making it to the finals of the contest is a big achievement. The most challenging part of the competition was the hypothetical experiment, conceived under controlled parameters like temperature, time and area to suit a microgravity (space) situation”, said Megha, a class-XII science student. “I am very much excited that we will be judged by Stephen Hawking, a well- known theoretical physicist and cosmologist”, said Karan, a class-X student who wants to be an astrophysicist. Stephen Hawking is his inspiration. Students of Zydus School of Excellence, Megha and Karan are among the nine students from the country who have reached to the finals. Apart from Indian students, 51 others from across the globe have made it to finals.

The Concept:

The concept of our experiment is that in the absence of convection in micro-gravity (space) when a part of the medium is heated, the medium would acquire multiple refractive indices. This means that a ray of light travelling through a medium in micro-gravity would bend due to the presence of these refractive indices, Megha said who wants to study at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. If we heat a part of air in the outer space telescopes (like the Hobble telescope) to a particular temperature that it bends the light rays to a point. By measuring the extent of light bent, we will be able to determine the exact location of galaxies and stars in space without the use of bulky and brittle lenses used in such telescopes, she said. To vote for them, click on the direct link, http:/goo.gl/ZOzRs. The name of their video is, “One medium - multiple refractive indices”. One has to cast the vote once a day till the January 25th, 2012.

The Conest:

The competition received around 2,000 entries from more than 80 countries. The participants, divided in two age groups 14 to 16 years and 17 to 18 years, had to submit YouTube videos describing their experiment. The winners can either opt for cosmonaut training in Russia after they turn 18 or can either watch a rocket blast off into space at Japan with their experiment.

Courtesy: Times of India

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