Pulsars in the Mathematics Classroom

PUlsars

Let's do real world mathematics
The "Pulsar" project is designed to engage students in scientific projects that will give them a positive attitude towards science and mathematics, and appreciation of how maths is applied in the real world.

PULSE@Parkes allows students to directly control Parkes radio telescope over the Internet and use it to do real science. It is the only program of its kind in the world.

These documents are activities contributed by Stephen Broderick to augment the webinar session, 'Pulsars in the Mathematics Classroom':

Pulsar Catalogue

The Pulsar Catalogue is an excel spread-sheet which contains data for 1,687 pulsars. The data is from the ANTF pulsar catalogue found at  http://www.atnf.csiro.au/research/pulsar/psrcat/.  This data includes the J names of the pulsars, periods (P) in seconds, period derivatives () in seconds and dispersion measures (DM) in pc cm

-3

. You will produce graphs, calculate the ages of pulsars, sort data using features of the excel spread-sheet in order to determine which pulsars are millisecond pulsars(MSP) or normal pulsars and determine the proximity of pulsars to the Earth using the dispersion measures (DM).

Pulsar Activities

This document contains 7 activities using an excel spread-sheet which contains data for 1,687 pulsars.

Magnetic Field of a Pulsar

These activities measure the magnetic field strength of a star. All stars have weak magnetic fields which are due to the movement of the charged plasma formed during nuclear fusion.

Density and Rotational Period of a Pulsar

Most stars in the mass range between 1.4 and 8 solar masses will end up as a neutron star.  As a star collapses, the pressure is so great that individual protons and electrons combine to form neutrons and ultimately a neutron star whose density is so great a thimble full would weigh as much as 10 billion tonnes. These activities measure the density of Solar system objects.


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