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Photovoltaic cells have low conversion efficiencies (typically up to 20%), the accumulation of sand and dust particles on their surface further reduces their output efficiency. This limitation makes photovoltaic cells an unreliable source of power for unattended or remote devices, such as solar-powered traffic signs or NASA's Mars Rover. For large-scale solar plants to maintain their maximum efficiency, the photovoltaic cells must be kept clean, which can be a challenging task in dusty environments. One good EEI would be to investigate the effect of dust on the solar panel.

Almost any physiology textbook will have a good description of the sliding filaments also.


Get hold of a high definition video, and high speed with frame rates 240fps, 480fps and 1000fps (although 480 fps and 1000fps gives a small image and needs really good lighting). Several experienced physics teachers agreed with a colleague's comment "I haven't found anything yet that we can't do with 300 fps". Alan Whyborn said "Last year I tried to do an analysis of a car traversing speed bumps at different speeds - found that 120 or 240 was best to analyse in detail the difference in motion between wheels and cab (240 was almost TOO fast). Water rockets at 320 would be excellent to evaluate the thrust phase. I would be happy to go for that. Would like to see how it handles an arrow though". The Casio EXILIM ZR100 High Speed Digital Camera (about $300) is fantastic according to physics teachers who have used them for motion capture. For example, see the Water Rocket EEI above.

(Some ideas: football, springboard diver motion: s/v vs t; what variables to change; must collect first hand data).

Find out information about sliding filament hypothesis

Refraction by ice is of huge importance to astronomers and environmental scientists. Water is a dominant building material for solid celestial bodies: it makes up the polar ice caps on Mars and is a major component of interstellar 'dust'. Astronomers use radiation in the Far Infra-red (Far IR) to penetrate this dust but they need to know a lot about how light refracts as it passes through. Here on Earth the optical properties of clouds are also critical: we know that Cirrus clouds are composed of water and ice and that they play and important part in regulating the Earth's climate variability. And what simpler way is there of measuring the thickness of Artic ice (even 2 km thick) than by sending radiation into the ice and measuring aspects of its refraction and reflection.


Here's a great EEI idea particularly if you are into rock music. Two essential devices in amplified music are the microphone and the loudspeaker. They are somewhat similar: moving-coil microphones use the same principle as in a loudspeaker, only reversed. Microphones have a small movable coil positioned around a cylindrical permanent magnet and attached to a diaphragm (the cone). When sound waves strike the microphone, the coil moves and a electrical signal is induced. In a loudspeaker the electrical current moves the coil and cone and pushes out sound waves. So a loudspeaker can function as a microphone. US scientist Alexander Graham Bell - Professor of Vocal Physiology at the University of Boston - made a fortune from his patent on this idea (Patent 174, 465, 1876; the most successful patent ever).

"Sliding filament theory of muscle contraction" on …

One Australian company sells just the thing: is a white coating which reflects 80% of the sun's radiation. They say it "helps reduce interior cooling loads of air conditioned structures, resulting in savings of both energy and money. Even buildings without air conditioning stay cooler because roof surface temperatures are significantly reduced". Put some roofs of different amounts of whiteness in the sun for some time and measure the temperature of something underneath (maybe air, water). Maybe a heating curve is best. May need more than three trials, and what's the best way to produce this (mixing black and white paint proportionally, black masking tape etc). What about flat paint vs satin vs glossy?


Ceiling insulation is one way of improving the energy efficiency of a home. Insulation materials such as polyester, fibreglass or wool "batts", metal foil and shredded newspaper are just some of the ways it can be done. In 2010 the Australian Government subsidized the installation of batts and foil in 550000 homes at a cost of $2.45 billion. Many were installed improperly and in some case fires and death occurred. The research question that could be useful for a Senior Physics EEI is what factors affect the thermal insulation property of a material?

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The Sliding Filament Theory of Muscle Contraction - …

You shouldn't expect to come up with an exact model for how the pressure waves interact, but you should be able to manipulate and observe variables, analyse the data and evaluate the findings in terms of physics theory. Don't expect to do what many physicists can't. Lastly, you may wonder what practical use is all of this. One example: the turbulent flow of jet exhaust gases from a rocket engine can be modelled as a quadrupole source based on an understanding of gas pressures around a vibrating tuning fork.

The Sliding Filament Theory of Muscle Contraction

There is a great temptation to compare the various materials to see which performs best; but you have to ask "what variables are you considering?". Such a comparison may be okay for a Junior Science project or EEI but it is very problematical for a Senior Physics EEI. Presumably you would have different building materials to test but the question is: what is the manipulated variable. If it is just "type of material" then on what basis are you comparing them? You could have variable R-values but you would need to keep all other variables constant (thickness, surface area, heat source, time).

My suggestion is to investigate varying thickness of a single insulating material. That way there would be some physical quantity to analyse other than R-value (which is merely the result of an experimental determination anyway). The last thing you want is the temperature inside the house for a bunch of building materials without any physics theory behind why they have different thermal conductivity other than "they just do". That is, what is their relationship to each other? This is a physics EEI and physics principles, theories and concepts must be at the forefront of any investigation. Otherwise, I think you would find difficulty in being able to address the the criterion (Queensland Syllabus IP3):

Sliding Filament Theory of Muscle Contraction, Fiber …


On the face of the tennis racquet, there are several points that are important to players; these are the centre of percussion, the vibration node, the best serving spot, the best returning spot and the dead spot. A couple of the spots are shown on the diagram below. The centre of percussion is one of the two "sweet spots" of the racquet. This is because at the point of impact between the centre of percussion and the ball, the hand can feel no impact. This is due to the fact that the centre of percussion is located near the centre of the face of the racquet. You can easily find out what all this means and about the other sweet spot.

sliding filament theory of muscle contraction ..

An EEI could look at factors that affect the speed of an object as it moves freely down a slope. Knowledge of these factors may help in the design of sports grounds skateboard bowls, ski runs, toboggan slides and so on. It could even help road engineers ensure that road inclines do not create dangerous situations. What could make a good EEI is to consider the relationship between height of the incline and the final speed of the car after a certain distance, keeping mass and the surface type constant. This does make an excellent Year 10 EEI but it also is very suitable for Year 11, particularly if you choose to look at a second variable (mass).

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