Hot air balloon problem

Hot air balloon

Credit: Brent Myers

A hot air balloon of mass 350 kg is carrying 5 people each of mass 70kg. The total volume of the baloon is 2800m3.

The balloon flies horizontally in dry air 1km above sea level. The atmopheric pressure at this altitude is 89.9kPa and the surrounding temperature is 9ºC. Given that the molar mass of dry air is 28.97g/mol, work out the temperature of the heated air inside the balloon. (You can take gas constant R=8.31J/mol K and you may assume that air behaves as an ideal gas).

General and problem-specific hints are available.

This is one of the problems on, a resource from Cambridge University Engineering Department with more than 200 problems to help you to practice problem solving skills relevant to Engineering. The website also provides general advice such as how to get onto a good Engineering course (whether at Cambridge or elsewhere).

Date posted: 

Monday 12 June 2017


What is it really like to study Engineering?

STEP Mathematics resources


Credit: Electric-Eye

Cambridge University has a free online STEP Mathematics course designed for students preparing to take STEP papers (STEP exams are required if you are applying for Mathematics or Computer Science with Mathematics at King's).

The course has online modules for individual study, which are open to everyone.

STEP is very important because it helps you to make the transition from school maths to the kinds of matheamtical thinking that you will do at Cambridge. 

More about STEP.

Date posted: 

Tuesday 16 May 2017


Booking open for Maths Open Day on Saturday 6 May 2017

Students at an Open Day

Tour of King's with a current student

Students in Y12 who are interested in studying Mathematics at University have the great opportinity to visit the Maths Open Day at King's on 6 May 2017! Prospective mathematics students arrive for a talk and Q&A with a King's academic in Mathematics starting at 12:00 noon. Afterwards there will be a chance to meet a current King's undergraduate studying Maths, who will give you a tour of King's College then take you from King's to the Centre for Mathematical Studies (outside King's) for the Mathematics Faculty Open Afternoon (a series of taster lectures and information about STEP). The event ends at 16:50.

If you would like to attend, you need to complete two booking forms:

Date posted: 

Wednesday 12 April 2017


Cambridge Science Festival 2017

Poster for the cambridge science festival

It's nearly time for this year's Cambridge Science Festival, which will run from 13 - 16 March 2017.

The Science Festival provides the public with opportunities to explore and discuss issues of scientific interest and concern and to raise aspirations by encouraging young people to consider a career in science, technology, engineering or mathematics. Over 170 event coordinators organise talks, interactive demonstrations, hands-on activities, film showings and debates with the assistance of around 1,000 staff and students from departments and organisations across the University and research institutions, charities and industry in the eastern region.

You can read more, download the programme or search events online on the Festival website.

Date posted: 

Thursday 23 February 2017


What can an engineer learn from biology?

Ant hill

Credit: Elroy Serrao

That's the question Prof Jon Timmis from the University of York is going to ask in his lecture at 7.30pm on 28 Februray 2017.

His talk is part of a mini-series of lectures on Engineering in the 2017 lecture programme and will explore the exciting interaction between biology and engineering. Prof Timmis will discuss how ants can be inspiration for the design of “swarm” robotic systems, how the protection afforded by the immune system can be used to inspire the creation of self-healing robots and how the evolutionary process can be used to potentially inspire the design of self-sustaining, robotic systems.

So whether you are interested in Biology, Engineering or even Medicine and Philosophy, this talk might be an interesting way to see what lies beyond the boarders of one specific subject.

For more information visit the Yorkshire philosophical society website.

Date posted: 

Thursday 2 February 2017


Sutton Trust Summer Schools (Year 12)

Bodley's Court lawn

Would you like to explore your subject interest in deepth? Then the Year 12 Sutton Trust Summer Schools might be just the thing for you.

The Cambridge Sutton Trust Summer Schools are week-long, subject-specific residentials, where you live and study as a Cambridge student. You’ll stay in your own private student room within a Cambridge College, eat with other Summer School students in the canteens and socialise in the common rooms.

During the day, you’ll be in your academic department, where you’ll be taught by world-leading experts in your subject. They’ll guide you through new areas of study, introducing you to the depth and breadth of a Cambridge undergraduate course.

The programme includes a wide variety of courses in Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics and applications are open 9 January 2017 to 2 March 2017! For more information please see Sutton Trust Summer Schools


Date posted: 

Friday 13 January 2017


Work Experience at the Department of Engineering

A bulk superconductor

A bulk superconductor over a magnet

Do you want to study Engineering in the future? Or do you just want to see how a large University Department is run from the inside? Then this is your chance! Each year, the Department of Engineering offers a small number of work experience placements to school students, so here is your oportunity to get an inside look.

In 2017, work experience placements will take place during the week commencing Monday 10th July.   The closing date for applications for the 2017 round of Work Experience placements is Monday 9th January 2017. For more information and download of the application form please visit the Work Experience Website

Date posted: 

Wednesday 4 January 2017


How anatomy is taught in Medicine

Skeleton, front court, King'sKing's skeleton

There is an interesting film available on this page, in which Cambridge Medicine students and academics discuss the use of whole body dissection in anatomy and thank their 'silent teachers'.

Find out more about what studying Medicine at Cambridge is like in the King's Student Perspectives.

If you are in Year 12 and will meet the subject requirements for Medicine, why not book a place on the Masterclass on Saturday 4 Feburary?

Date posted: 

Wednesday 14 December 2016



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