Phenomena – Episode 7: Gravity

Gravity and matter are inseparable. This connection is visualised through a simulation of the orbital motion of solar systems and the spiral dance of galaxies.

This film was submitted to the SCINEMA 2021 International Science Film Festival and was selected to feature in our Australian, Experimental and School categories. It also achieved the Special Jury Award at the festival. The filmmaker has kindly allowed us to continue to show the film beyond the festival. Watch it below and download the accompanying educational resource for fun activities to use with your students.

Video Length: 4:30 mins

Film Description

Gravity and matter are inseparable. This connection is visualised through a simulation of the orbital motion of solar systems and the spiral dance of galaxies.

Lesson Inspiration

In the universe, gravity distorts spacetime and attracts all matter together. In this experiment, a piece of fabric representing spacetime is stretched over a large hoop. A heavy ball is dropped into the fabric, distorting it like a star distorts the space around it. Smaller ball bearings are then propelled into the fabric. They spiral around the centre mass, simulating the orbital motions of solar systems and spiral dance of galaxies.

Useful when:

Teaching about Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation, field theory and the shape and arrangement of the universe.

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Years: 10, 11, 12

Topics:

Earth and Space Sciences – Big Bang Theory

Physical Sciences – Forces

Additional – Literacy, Personal and Social Capability.

Concepts (South Australia):

Earth and Space Sciences – Earth in Space

Physical Sciences – Forces and Motion

SCINEMA International Science Film Festival is the largest science film festival in the Southern Hemisphere! The 2021 festival is now over but we have permission for some of the films and their associated educational resources to use with your students.

Each resource is mapped to the Australian National Curriculum and contains hands-on activities for your students. Designed to engage and inspire, these resources demonstrate STEM careers and skills to your students, encouraging them to be curious thinkers, problem-solvers and contributing citizens within society.