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Proving High-End Einstein Model in Simple Way Gets IOP Prize

Big Bang Fair

Pratap Singh (Credit: National Science + Engineering Competition)

In sciences, world is watching in awe how the children of Indian origin make waves with their models leaving even presidents spellbound and teachers proud with their talent.

When US President Barack Obama was impressed by five Indian origin students at the White House presenting their science models last month, it was a pride moment for their parents who are essentially immigrants.

Soon, transcending the Atlantic, another Indian origin teenager student Pratap Singh, 15, from the Perse School, Cambridge made news winning the Institute of Physics Prize (IOP) in the UK for his project on Albert Einstein’s theory of special relativity.

To prove that cosmic ray muons cannot reach the Earth in detectable numbers unless special relativity was involved, Pratap Singh used two Geiger-Müller tubes to detect them.

Using a Raspberry Pi computer and using statistical analysis, he showed how the cosmic ray muons’ arrival on the planet is possible, based on the time dilation model as predicted by Einstein’s theory.

His paper titled “Special relativity in the school laboratory: A simple apparatus for cosmic-ray muon detection” will be published by the IOP in its Physics Education journal soon.

Pratap Singh’s model makes use of simple school lab apparatus and statistical analysis to prove something big, which may not be understood without the mathematical understanding of the Einstein’s special and general relativity.

No wonder, he was presented the IOP award carrying 500 at the Big Bang Fair held at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) Birmingham, last week out of 200 teenagers who participated in the competition.

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