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# Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's stories about the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes have been popular since they were first published in 1886. Explore the reasons behind this enduring popularity?

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Introduction

Report of My Visit to Xscape On the 6th of February 2004, our Physics class was invited to take a tour of the skiing facility at Xscape in Milton Keynes. The visit gave me a good insight into different areas of Physics that were seen at the skiing complex. We learnt a lot about the cooling system, how it works, and areas of energy loss which could be harnessed instead of lost. We were given a tour as well as a brief talk about Xscape by Mr. Shears. Section 1: Aspects of Physics Observed 1.1 I observed the operation of drag lifts at Xscape which took skiers back up the ski slope. Each drag lift consisted of 16 hangers onto which the skiers would sit on when going up the ski slope. The cable used to carry all 16 skiers needs to be able to support the 16 skiers by withstanding high degrees of tension. This tension acts on the cable in opposite directions, but these tensions will not equal each other. This is explained below: I am going to focus on the tensions in the cable for one skier sitting on a hanger being pulled up the ski slope. We were told by Mr. Shears that the cable to the top of the slope is at an angle of about 22� to the horizontal and the cable down to the bottom of the slope was at about 20�. We can find the tensions in the cable by resolving forces acting horizontally and vertically on the cable. ...read more.

Middle

By calculating the theoretical tensions, the operators are able to order a suitable cable from suppliers by quoting the tensions that it should be able to cope with. Thus ensuring that the cable being used is the right one for the job and also that the firm is purchasing the right one rather than one which is more costly and is designed to carry more load. These lifts must be serviced regularly in order to prevent failure. This could result in the closure of the snow dome as customers cannot travel back up the slope. A major disadvantage to the company is the large running costs of the drag lifts as they are running constantly from opening to closing time. 2.2 Once past the condenser the liquid glycol passes through an expansion device where its pressure is suddenly lowered and as a result some of the glycol evaporates, forming vapour. This change in state has a cooling effect. The cool vapour and liquid pass through a network of pipes arranged underneath the ice and snow in the ice box. Here heat energy is transferred from the ice box to the liquid glycol, since heat flows from warm bodies to colder bodies, resulting in the glycol changing back into low pressure, cooler gas. Therefore the purpose of this aspect of physics is to maintain a cool temperature within the ice box, between the temperatures stated earlier so the snow does not melt and nor does it form into ice. ...read more.

Conclusion

The cooling system does not harness this wasted energy back into the process and therefore is unable to increase its efficiency. Compacted snow and ice is removed from the ski slope every three days and as a result, the ski slope has to be closed for twelve hours during which the snow is replenished. As a result of this, Xscape is limited to the amount of money they can make during these periods as it is shut for a longer period of time. Strengths of the System The cooling systems provides a constant flow of cooled glycol through a network of pipes which keeps the snow and ice between the respected temperatures of -6�C to -14�C so that the snow does not turn to ice or turn to water. The system is not vulnerable to cracked or broken pipes situated under the snow box as it is possible to close off one section of piping and cordon off that slope area while the piping is repaired. Therefore Xscape is capable of running during a broken glycol pipe and so the business will not lose business. Other Uses Cooling systems are used in cars to cool the engine. Engine coolant that is used contains glycol which in the same way as at Xscape is pumped around the car engine. The liquid absorbs thermal energy given off from the engine. As stated earlier, cooling systems are used in fridge freezers in almost an identical way. I enjoyed my visit to Xscape and was most fascinated with the varying aspects of physics concerning the cooling and also the making of snow. ...read more.

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