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Listed under:  Science  >  Forces and energy  >  Waves (Energy)
Interactive resource

Seeing with sound

Explore how sound travels as a wave. Examine diagrams and simulations; answer questions about sound properties. Test the effects of changing wave properties: frequency, wavelength and amplitude. Transmit sounds in a range of mediums: air, water, steel or a vacuum. Find out how echolocation works. Measure speed and direction ...

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Some objects look darker when wet

Why do some things look darker when they're wet, such as sand or clothing, and other things like stainless steel sinks don't? Watch as presenter Bernie Hobbs explains what happens when light hits water and how this influences the appearance of wet objects. This clip includes an animation that demonstrates the way light ...

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How do prisms create rainbows?

Zoom inside a glass prism and see why glass makes light bend, and how the glass molecules make different colours of light bend different amounts.


Simple harmonic motion

This collection of six digital curriculum resources includes resources that develop the theoretical and practical aspects of simple harmonic motion (SHM). Video sequences illustrate the fundamental kinematic principles of SHM and reference web pages provide background material on the mathematical techniques required, including ...

Interactive resource

UV Index: simulator

Use a simulator to test the level of ultraviolet (UV) rays. Test the effects of cloud, shade and ground surface: grass, sand, water and snow. Notice that the amount of UV light that reaches a person varies according to the reflectivity of their surroundings. Use simulation results to answer a series of questions. For example, ...

Tablet friendly (Interactive resource)

Seeing with sound: sound lab tour

Explore how sound travels as a wave. Examine diagrams and simulations to answer a series of questions about sound properties. For example, identify the effects of compression waves on the vibration speed of particles. Test the effects of changing wave properties: frequency, wavelength and amplitude. Transmit sounds in a ...

Interactive resource

Colours of objects

Find out why some things appear coloured and others white or black. View four cards of unknown colour under four different coloured lights: red, green, blue and white. Notice how the cards can have different colours under different lights. Record your observations for each card in turn, and then use this data to determine ...

Interactive resource

Simple harmonic motion

Use your knowledge of calculus and circular motion to analyse back-and-forth motion. Discover how the position, velocity and acceleration vary, but are closely related. Learn how to apply the theory to vibrating objects such as pendulums and loudspeakers. This resource consists of a video in four sections with a supporting ...

Interactive resource

What is a sound spectrum?

Learn how sounds can be represented graphically as a sound spectrum. Discover how the sound spectra of different instruments are different, even though they play the same note. See how a sound wave can be analysed as the sum of a fundamental frequency and numerous harmonics. This resource consists of a web page with text, ...


'Window into space', 1965 - asset 1

This is a clip taken from a 22-minute colour documentary developed by the Division of Radiophysics of the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in 1965 to explain the operation and work of the Parkes Radio Telescope in New South Wales. This clip shows diagrams of how light waves ...

Teacher resource

NASA launchpad: making waves

This resource for educators details a learning sequence in which students work in teams to investigate different sections of the electromagnetic spectrum. For the spectral section, they research frequency, wavelength, energy, types of radiation and how humans encounter this radiation, and identify something that is the ...

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Sound waves measure ocean temperatures

View how scientists use underwater sound waves to measure ocean temperature changes in the Indian Ocean. The animations show how the technology called acoustic thermometry works. Australian scientists are working with a global network of 'listening posts' to monitor the long-term effects of climate change on ocean temperatures.

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The biggest radio telescope in the world

In the past, astronomers explored the universe with their eyes and optical telescopes, but what they could see was limited. Find out how radio telescopes have revolutionised the way astronomers 'see' the universe, allowing us to explore deeper into space than ever before.Watch this clip to learn about Australia's contribution ...

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3D is back!

Andrew Woods from Curtin University answers the question 'How are 3D movies made?' Discover how how 3D glasses work. You might be surprised to find out how long ago people started making 3D movies.

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Using a lens to bend light

How can a water-filled plastic straw be used to decode a secret message? Watch as the Surfing Scientist demonstrates how lenses with a curved surface do curious things to light.

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Electromagnetic radiation

Do you know how radios transmit sound, or how ultraviolet light travels through the air? Listen to Bernie Hobbs explain electromagnetic radiation and discover what radios, ultraviolet light, x-rays and nuclear blasts have in common. Find out about their energy levels, how they travel from place to place, and at what speed, ...

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Battlefield robots on patrol

With eyesight, skills and a mission, battlefield robots are a bit like real soldiers patrolling a warzone. Find out about how and why some students have built these mobile robots, and where their innovative robot technology might be used in the future.

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Getting ahead in animatronics

Ever wanted to know what an animatronic head is and how it works? Watch this clip about a dedicated young robot designer and his collection of robots. We may one day see his robotic creations in a blockbuster movie!

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Seashell's secret to bending light

Nature's mother-of-pearl seashell is helping Australian scientists unlock the secrets of bending light. Discover how, and hear about some practical applications of bending light. Find out why the US Air Force is excited about this new discovery from nature. What might it mean for the future of combat?

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A swell day for surfing

Want to catch the perfect wave? Then you'll need to know a little about the role wind plays in the formation of waves. Who better to learn from than Andrew 'Windy' Miller, a keen geographer who just happens to run a surf school in Cornwall, UK. Learn more about the science behind an ocean swell.