Saturday, July 16, 2011

IMAX Technical Fact Sheet

IMAX Technical Fact Sheet

. IMAX Filmsize
IMAX: Larger than Life (IMAX)
Imax Corporation is the pioneer and leader of giant-screen large-format film and motion simulator entertainment. It is the leading provider of high-impact out-of-home high technology entertainment systems.
IMAX technology combines a variety of technological innovations: special cameras, special projectors, wide screens, specially-designed theatres with steeply raked seating, and films shot on 65mm negative stock.
IMAX technology uses the largest commercial film format in motion picture history -- 70mm, 15-perforation -- three times the size of regular 70mm, and ten times the size of conventional 35mm which you would see in a normal movie theatre.
It is projected on giant screens which extend beyond your peripheral vision -- so big, in fact, that a whale can appear life-size -- IMAX screens can be up to eight stories high. Because these screens fill your peripheral vision, you have the sense of being right in the action
IMAX Dome Comparison .
Conventional and IMAX Screen Sizes (IMAX)
It features the most advanced projector ever built using Imax's patented Rolling Loop technology. Each frame is positioned on fixed registration pins; the film is held firmly against the rear element of the lens by a vacuum. A 68 per cent shutter transmits one third more light than a conventional 50 per cent shutter. In 1997, Imax introduced a 3D projection system (IMAX 3D SR) designed for smaller markets which can be integrated into an existing multiplex.
IMAX theatres feature a patented digital audio technology with advanced circuits designed specifically to enhance sound clarity and depth of sound reproduction. IMAX sound also uses proprietary signal processing, amplification and loudspeaker design.
. IMAX Screen Size
IMAX Dome Comparisons (IMAX)
Large-format films are shown in specially-designed theatres where the seating decks are steeply raked, so that even a child's view is unobstructed and people can look up and down, as in real life.
IMAX 3D technology is acknowledged to be the best 3D in the world. Imax has developed a special 3D camera which incorporates two camera movements into one housing. It has adapted the Rolling Loop projector to project 3D and uses either IMAX 3D glasses with polarizing filters or electronic liquid-crystal shutter glasses (as at the SONY IMAX Theatre in New York).

© 2010-2012 The Little Ganesha® All Rights Reserved. Subscribe in a reader

Imax Technology

Creating Films for Imax theatres

The IMAX theater experience is the leading cinema experience. The resolution, fidelity and stability of an original 15/70 motion picture image in an IMAX theater are a combination that nothing beats.
15/70 is the world's largest film format and was conceived as part of the development of the first IMAX projector (1970). For a filmmaker, large format film can be a creatively irresistible, but at the same time, highly challenging medium to work in.
15/70 is the most expensive medium in the world, so generally not the best format with which to learn how to make films. It can also be a difficult medium for experienced filmmakers who have learned their craft in another format and come to the larger format with expectations derived from their experience in the smaller, more versatile medium.
15 Perforation / 70mm
The 15/70 film frame is 10 times larger than a frame of 35mm used in regular cinemas and three times larger than standard 70mm film used in classic feature film releases such as “Lawrence of Arabia”. The 15/70 format is configured so that each frame is 15 perforations in width on 70mm film. Projected with an IMAX projector, the film runs horizontally through the gate (as compared with 35mm motion picture film and standard 70mm which run vertically through the projector).

The experience / Imax image capture

The IMAX Camera
The IMAX camera is designed to shoot the 15/70 film format. The IMAX camera uses 65mm negative film stock which is later contact printed to 70mm print stock (positive) for projection. The image area on the negative and on the print film stock is the same—the additional area on the 70mm format was originally designed to accommodate a soundtrack (optically or magnetically encoded).
IMAX cameras weigh between 42 and 100 pounds (19-45 Kg) approximately, depending on model and configuration. 3D film camera configurations weigh significantly more. A typical film load (one roll) is 1,000 feet (305 metres) in length and representsapproximately 3 minutes of raw footage.
Alternate Formats
Other camera systems are sometimes used by filmmakers to capture scenes for use in films that will be exhibited on giant screens. These camera systems include 35mm and HD video. Typically scenes acquired on these lower resolution systems are digitally remastered to enhance their appearance for the big screen. IMAX Corporation offers a proprietary digital remastering service entitled DMR which is used principally to repurpose 35mm feature films for release in IMAX cinemas. Alternative formats cannot offer the full resolution and clarity possible with 15/70 film, but they do provide ways to create content that is not necessarily feasible with the larger and more expensive 15/70 format.

Imax Theatres

There are more than 400 large format theaters worldwide. Projectors manufactured by IMAX Corporation and using the 15/70 film format, represent the dominant technology in this marketplace.
What is IMAX? IMAX theaters combine advanced large format projection technology with giant screens up to 8 storeys high and powerful wrap-around 12,000-watt digital sound systems. The result is an unsurpassed sensory experience.

There are more than 280 IMAX theaters in 40 countries world wide. These theaters are located in commercial multiplex cinemas, in museums, science centers, aquaria, or theme parks, or are situated as stand-alone venues. Theater installations feature either IMAX (flat screen 2D) or IMAX 3D systems or the IMAX Dome system.
Click here to see more IMAX Theaters.

Imax Technology

IMAX, IMAX 3D and IMAX Dome projectors are the most advanced, precise and powerful film projectors ever built. IMAX Rolling Loop technology ensures far superior picture and focus steadiness to deliver the largest, sharpest and brightest images imaginable.
IMAX and IMAX 3D giant flat screens soar up to eight stories high and are designed to encompass the audience’s peripheral vision. These screens are painted silver to maximize the amount of light reflected back to the audience. Half the size of a football field and large enough to show a whale life-size, IMAX screens fully immerse audience members in the scene.
Semi-circular IMAX Dome screens produce huge images that soar and swoop above, beside and behind you to fully surround you in The IMAX Experience.
All these theaters project the 15/70 film format.
IMAX uncompressed digital, wrap-around sound is simply unsurpassed in depth and clarity. A proprietary six-channel, Proportional Point SourceTM Loudspeaker system delivers exacting volume and quality at every seat throughout the theatre. Audience members hear every shade and subtlety, regardless of where they are sitting.
Other Formats and Manufacturers
Additional manufacturers of large format film projection systems include Simex-Iwerks and GOTO. While 15/70 is the principal format for projection in giant screen theaters, some theaters use 8/70 projection systems and a small number use 10/70 in planetarium environments. These film formats all use 70mm film but use different configurations of film frame.
Digital projection is finding its way into many conventional cinemas and it is only a matter of time before giant screen presentations will also be delivered this way. IMAX Corporation and other manufacturers are engaged in the development of digital projection technologies to deliver the substantially larger information load or ‘bandwidth’ required for giant screen presentations.

© 2010-2012 The Little Ganesha® All Rights Reserved. Subscribe in a reader

Hydrogen Atom Spectrum

This page introduces the atomic hydrogen emission spectrum, showing how it arises from electron movements between energy levels within the atom. It also looks at how the spectrum can be used to find the ionisation energy of hydrogen.
What is an emission spectrum? Observing hydrogen's emission spectrum
A hydrogen discharge tube is a slim tube containing hydrogen gas at low pressure with an electrode at each end. If you put a high voltage across this (say, 5000 volts), the tube lights up with a bright pink glow.
If the light is passed through a prism or diffraction grating, it is split into its various colours. What you would see is a small part of the hydrogen emission spectrum. Most of the spectrum is invisible to the eye because it is either in the infra-red or the ultra-violet.
The photograph shows part of a hydrogen discharge tube on the left, and the three most easily seen lines in the visible part of the spectrum on the right. (Ignore the "smearing" - particularly to the left of the red line. This is caused by flaws in the way the photograph was taken. See note below.)

Note:  This photograph is by courtesy of Dr Rod Nave of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Georgia State University, Atlanta. The photograph comes from notes about the hydrogen spectrum in his HyperPhysics pages on the University site. If you are interested in more than an introductory look at the subject, that is a good place to go. Ideally the photo would show three clean spectral lines - dark blue, cyan and red. The red smearing which appears to the left of the red line, and other similar smearing (much more difficult to see) to the left of the other two lines probably comes, according to Dr Nave, from stray reflections in the set-up, or possibly from flaws in the diffraction grating. I have chosen to use this photograph anyway because a) I think it is a stunning image, and b) it is the only one I have ever come across which includes a hydrogen discharge tube and its spectrum in the same image.

Extending hydrogen's emission spectrum into the UV and IR
There is a lot more to the hydrogen spectrum than the three lines you can see with the naked eye. It is possible to detect patterns of lines in both the ultra-violet and infra-red regions of the spectrum as well.
These fall into a number of "series" of lines named after the person who discovered them. The diagram below shows three of these series, but there are others in the infra-red to the left of the Paschen series shown in the diagram.
The diagram is quite complicated, so we will look at it a bit at a time. Look first at the Lyman series on the right of the diagram - this is the most spread out one and easiest to see what is happening.

Note:  The frequency scale is marked in PHz - that's petaHertz. You are familiar with prefixes like kilo (meaning a thousand or 103 times), and mega (meaning a million or 106 times). Peta means 1015 times. So a value like 3 PHz means 3 x 1015 Hz. If you are worried about "Hertz", it just means "cycles per second".

The Lyman series is a series of lines in the ultra-violet. Notice that the lines get closer and closer together as the frequency increases. Eventually, they get so close together that it becomes impossible to see them as anything other than a continuous spectrum. That's what the shaded bit on the right-hand end of the series suggests.
Then at one particular point, known as the series limit, the series stops.
If you now look at the Balmer series or the Paschen series, you will see that the pattern is just the same, but the series have become more compact. In the Balmer series, notice the position of the three visible lines from the photograph further up the page.
Complicating everything - frequency and wavelength
You will often find the hydrogen spectrum drawn using wavelengths of light rather than frequencies. Unfortunately, because of the mathematical relationship between the frequency of light and its wavelength, you get two completely different views of the spectrum if you plot it against frequency or against wavelength.
The relationship between frequency and wavelength
The mathematical relationship is:

Rearranging this gives equations for either wavelength or frequency.
What this means is that there is an inverse relationship between the two - a high frequency means a low wavelength and vice versa.

Note:  You will sometimes find frequency given the much more obvious symbol, f.

Drawing the hydrogen spectrum in terms of wavelength
This is what the spectrum looks like if you plot it in terms of wavelength instead of frequency:

. . . and just to remind you what the spectrum in terms of frequency looks like:
Is this confusing? Well, I find it extremely confusing! So what do you do about it?
For the rest of this page I shall only look at the spectrum plotted against frequency, because it is much easier to relate it to what is happening in the atom. Be aware that the spectrum looks different depending on how it is plotted, but, other than that, ignore the wavelength version unless it is obvious that your examiners want it. If you try to learn both versions, you are only going to get them muddled up!

Note:  Syllabuses probably won't be very helpful about this. You need to look at past papers and mark schemes. If you are working towards a UK-based exam and don't have these things, you can find out how to get hold of them by going to the syllabuses page.

Explaining hydrogen's emission spectrum The Balmer and Rydberg Equations
By an amazing bit of mathematical insight, in 1885 Balmer came up with a simple formula for predicting the wavelength of any of the lines in what we now know as the Balmer series. Three years later, Rydberg generalised this so that it was possible to work out the wavelengths of any of the lines in the hydrogen emission spectrum.
What Rydberg came up with was:

RH is a constant known as the Rydberg constant.
n1 and n2 are integers (whole numbers). n2 has to be greater than n1. In other words, if n1 is, say, 2 then n2 can be any whole number between 3 and infinity.
The various combinations of numbers that you can slot into this formula let you calculate the wavelength of any of the lines in the hydrogen emission spectrum - and there is close agreement between the wavelengths that you get using this formula and those found by analysing a real spectrum.

Note:  If you come across a version of Balmer's original equation, it won't look like this. In Balmer's equation, n1 is always 2 - because that gives the wavelengths of the lines in the visible part of the spectrum which is what he was interested in. His original equation was also organised differently. The modern version shows more clearly what is going on.

You can also use a modified version of the Rydberg equation to calculate the frequency of each of the lines. You can work out this version from the previous equation and the formula relating wavelength and frequency further up the page.

Note:  You may come across versions of the Rydberg equation where the n1 and n2 are the other way around, or they may even be swapped for letters like m and n. Whichever version you use, the bigger number must always be the one at the bottom of the right-hand term - the one you take away. If you get them the wrong way around, it is immediately obvious if you start to do a calculation, because you will end up with a negative answer!

The origin of the hydrogen emission spectrum
The lines in the hydrogen emission spectrum form regular patterns and can be represented by a (relatively) simple equation. Each line can be calculated from a combination of simple whole numbers.
Why does hydrogen emit light when it is excited by being exposed to a high voltage and what is the significance of those whole numbers?
When nothing is exciting it, hydrogen's electron is in the first energy level - the level closest to the nucleus. But if you supply energy to the atom, the electron gets excited into a higher energy level - or even removed from the atom altogether.
The high voltage in a discharge tube provides that energy. Hydrogen molecules are first broken up into hydrogen atoms (hence the atomic hydrogen emission spectrum) and electrons are then promoted into higher energy levels.
Suppose a particular electron was excited into the third energy level. This would tend to lose energy again by falling back down to a lower level. It could do this in two different ways.
It could fall all the way back down to the first level again, or it could fall back to the second level - and then, in a second jump, down to the first level.

Tying particular electron jumps to individual lines in the spectrum
If an electron falls from the 3-level to the 2-level, it has to lose an amount of energy exactly the same as the energy gap between those two levels. That energy which the electron loses comes out as light (where "light" includes UV and IR as well as visible).
Each frequency of light is associated with a particular energy by the equation:
The higher the frequency, the higher the energy of the light.
If an electron falls from the 3-level to the 2-level, red light is seen. This is the origin of the red line in the hydrogen spectrum. By measuring the frequency of the red light, you can work out its energy. That energy must be exactly the same as the energy gap between the 3-level and the 2-level in the hydrogen atom.
The last equation can therefore be re-written as a measure of the energy gap between two electron levels.
The greatest possible fall in energy will therefore produce the highest frequency line in the spectrum. The greatest fall will be from the infinity level to the 1-level. (The significance of the infinity level will be made clear later.)
The next few diagrams are in two parts - with the energy levels at the top and the spectrum at the bottom.
If an electron fell from the 6-level, the fall is a little bit less, and so the frequency will be a little bit lower. (Because of the scale of the diagram, it is impossible to draw in all the jumps involving all the levels between 7 and infinity!)
. . . and as you work your way through the other possible jumps to the 1-level, you have accounted for the whole of the Lyman series. The spacings between the lines in the spectrum reflect the way the spacings between the energy levels change.
If you do the same thing for jumps down to the 2-level, you end up with the lines in the Balmer series. These energy gaps are all much smaller than in the Lyman series, and so the frequencies produced are also much lower.
The Paschen series would be produced by jumps down to the 3-level, but the diagram is going to get very messy if I include those as well - not to mention all the other series with jumps down to the 4-level, the 5-level and so on.
The significance of the numbers in the Rydberg equation
n1 and n2 in the Rydberg equation are simply the energy levels at either end of the jump producing a particular line in the spectrum.
For example, in the Lyman series, n1 is always 1. Electrons are falling to the 1-level to produce lines in the Lyman series. For the Balmer series, n1 is always 2, because electrons are falling to the 2-level.
n2 is the level being jumped from. We have already mentioned that the red line is produced by electrons falling from the 3-level to the 2-level. In this case, then, n2 is equal to 3.
The significance of the infinity level
The infinity level represents the highest possible energy an electron can have as a part of a hydrogen atom. So what happens if the electron exceeds that energy by even the tiniest bit?
The electron is no longer a part of the atom. The infinity level represents the point at which ionisation of the atom occurs to form a positively charged ion.
Using the spectrum to find hydrogen's ionisation energy When there is no additional energy supplied to it, hydrogen's electron is found at the 1-level. This is known as its ground state. If you supply enough energy to move the electron up to the infinity level, you have ionised the hydrogen.
The ionisation energy per electron is therefore a measure of the distance between the 1-level and the infinity level. If you look back at the last few diagrams, you will find that that particular energy jump produces the series limit of the Lyman series.

Note:  Up to now we have been talking about the energy released when an electron falls from a higher to a lower level. Obviously if a certain amount of energy is released when an electron falls from the infinity level to the 1-level, that same amount will be needed to push the electron from the 1-level up to the infinity level.

If you can determine the frequency of the Lyman series limit, you can use it to calculate the energy needed to move the electron in one atom from the 1-level to the point of ionisation. From that, you can calculate the ionisation energy per mole of atoms.
The problem is that the frequency of a series limit is quite difficult to find accurately from a spectrum because the lines are so close together in that region that the spectrum looks continuous.
Finding the frequency of the series limit graphically
Here is a list of the frequencies of the seven most widely spaced lines in the Lyman series, together with the increase in frequency as you go from one to the next.

As the lines get closer together, obviously the increase in frequency gets less. At the series limit, the gap between the lines would be literally zero.
That means that if you were to plot the increases in frequency against the actual frequency, you could extrapolate (continue) the curve to the point at which the increase becomes zero. That would be the frequency of the series limit.
In fact you can actually plot two graphs from the data in the table above. The frequency difference is related to two frequencies. For example, the figure of 0.457 is found by taking 2.467 away from 2.924. So which of these two values should you plot the 0.457 against?
It doesn't matter, as long as you are always consistent - in other words, as long as you always plot the difference against either the higher or the lower figure. At the point you are interested in (where the difference becomes zero), the two frequency numbers are the same.
As you will see from the graph below, by plotting both of the possible curves on the same graph, it makes it easier to decide exactly how to extrapolate the curves. Because these are curves, they are much more difficult to extrapolate than if they were straight lines.
Both lines point to a series limit at about 3.28 x 1015 Hz.

Note:  Remember that 3.28 PHz is the same as 3.28 x 1015 Hz. You can use the Rydberg equation to calculate the series limit of the Lyman series as a check on this figure: n1 = 1 for the Lyman series, and n2 = infinity for the series limit. 1/(infinity)2 = zero. That gives a value for the frequency of 3.29 x 1015 Hz - in other words the two values agree to within 0.3%.

So . . . now we can calculate the energy needed to remove a single electron from a hydrogen atom. Remember the equation from higher up the page:

We can work out the energy gap between the ground state and the point at which the electron leaves the atom by substituting the value we've got for frequency and looking up the value of Planck's constant from a data book.
That gives you the ionisation energy for a single atom. To find the normally quoted ionisation energy, we need to multiply this by the number of atoms in a mole of hydrogen atoms (the Avogadro constant) and then divide by 1000 to convert it into kilojoules.

Note:  It would be wrong to quote this to more than 3 significant figures. The value for the frequency obtained from the graph is only to that accuracy.

This compares well with the normally quoted value for hydrogen's ionisation energy of 1312 kJ mol-1.
© 2010-2012 The Little Ganesha® All Rights Reserved. Subscribe in a reader

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Apple Iphone 4 Specifications

© 2010-2012 The Little Ganesha® All Rights Reserved. Subscribe in a reader

Top 10 Most Expensive And Fastest Cars

© 2010-2012 The Little Ganesha® All Rights Reserved. Subscribe in a reader

Tips For Google Affiliate Network

As Seen On TV

Google Affiliate Network Targeted Links

Google’s Affiliate Network has grown big and has now more advertisers to choose from. Affiliate marketing as you know is one excellent form of making money online and best of all, you do not have to worry about virtually anything. Promote a product or service, get it to convert and eventually receive a commission.

About Google Affiliate Network

Google acquired the DoubleClick Performics Affiliate operations in March 2008. Performics was founded as the first full-service affiliate network in 1998 and was acquired by DoubleClick in 2004. Today Performics Affiliate operates as Google Affiliate Network and remains committed to delivering affiliate channel growth for advertisers and publishers.
Google’s Affiliate Network works just like your normal affiliate ad network. Publishers get paid for every successful sale transactions that a website brings to advertisers. This program works separately from Google Adsense (for the moment) and joining the program is relatively easy. However, the payments of Google’s Affiliate Program is now integrated with that of AdSense making it also easier to reach the payment threshold.
As with any other affiliate network, there comes a time when it starts to be difficult to choose which product or services one will be promoting. Promoting companies as a whole is not targeted (unless they only offer one or two services, such as web hosting) and you may not be very successful in generating any sale as it is not specific. Targeting specific products or services may perform better and can blend much easier either within your blogs topic or for a specific post or review you are writing. Recently, a feature called product search, has been introduced into Google’s Affiliate Network. This is slightly different from the main product search service that Google offers as it is tailored specifically to find products or services within the affiliate network. This feature combined with Google’s Insight For Search can be a powerful tool when choosing the right product you will be promoting.

How To Find Targeted Products Or Services?

Say I have a blog which is about Digital Camera reviews. I can simply join advertisers from the network that sells Videos, Cameras and related accessories and send a link for people to browse around their huge list of items. Rather than doing that, I would prefer to see what people are actually searching for and be more specific, building a link that directs them directly to the product they might be more interested in. This way, there is a much greater possibility that it may convert. Here is how I will do it.
First. I head over to Google’s Insight For Search. I’ll enter the search term “camera” and filter it for, products only, within the US, and for the last 30 days. Here are the results (query done today).
Google_Product_Search_1By looking at the results, I immediately see that the top search term for the period I have queried is “digital camera”. On the right hand side of the report, I see that the rising trend (a whopping 200%) for the query I have made is “Pentax Digital Camera”. Heading back to Google’s affiliate network search option I type in “Pentax Camera” and do a search.
Google_Product_Search_2From the results found, all I have to do now is select a product and promote it. Obviously, there is a possibility that you won’t find a product or service within the network. If that happens, you can always use any other affiliate network you are working with. This method when applied will allow you to promote more targeted products or services while at the same time promote the advertiser’s other available items. In either cases, if it converts, you make a sale and earn your commission.
Have you tried this technique before? What results have you achieved? If not, give it a try and see how it goes. Good luck and to your success with Google’s Affiliate Network.
© 2010-2012 The Little Ganesha® All Rights Reserved.
Subscribe in a reader

Time Management For Students

AbeBooks Logo Canada
© 2010-2012 The Little Ganesha® All Rights Reserved.

Causes Of World War 2

Free Shipping to Australia and New Zealand at AbeBooks
The Second World War was caused by:

a. Hitler’s Aims

  1. To unite German speaking people (using NSD which had been denied at the Treaty of Versailles.
  2. He wanted lebensraum (living space) in order to gain self-sufficiency (autarky)
  3. He wanted to dominate Europe and the World
To achieve any of these aims would involve breaking the Treaty of Versailles (28/6/1919), and this could lead to war.

b. The aggression of Hitler’s Allies

  1. Italy – Mussolini wanted a Fascist-Roman empire in the Mediterranean and Africa (e.g. Abyssinian invasion in 1935.)
  2. Japan – Japan wanted a Nipponese empire in the Pacific, extending into China and Australia (e.g. Manchurian invasion in 1931)
Germany, Italy and Japan were hostile to Communism (USSR), and this way a cause of war and vice versa.

c. Democratic powers were passive

  1. USA – Isolated
  2. France – France was unlikely, and reluctant, to intervene against Germany, because she could not rely on Britain’s and America’s support.
  3. Britain – Between 1934 and 1937, Britain was sympathetic to German recovery. Between May 1937 and March 1939, Britain appeased Germany.
These powers could have stopped Fascist aggression earlier than 1939.

d. The League of Nations failed to keep peace

See other notes.


War was caused by a combination of ‘a’ to ‘d’, but Hitler’s aims and actions were the main cause of war.

Reasons for Causes of War

Refer to map showing nine causes of war.
The Second World War was caused by Fascist aggression and the failure of democratic powers to stop this aggression.
  1. The rearmament of Germany was a cause for war because it broke the Treaty of Versailles (28th June, 1919)
  2. The remilitarization of the Rhineland (7th march, 1936) was a cause of war because it broke the Treaty of Versailles and the Locarno Pacts (1925)
  3. The Rome-Berlin Axis (October 1936) was a cause of war because it united the aggressive fascist powers and divided Europe into hostile camps.
  4. Chamberlain’s appeasement policy (after may 1937 – March 1939) was a cause of war because it broke the Treaty of Versailles and Treaty of St. Germain (10th September, 1919)
  5. The Anschluss of Germany with Austria (13th march, 1938) was a cause of war because it broke the Treaty of Versailles and Treaty of St. Germain (10th September, 1919)
  6. The Nazi annexation of the Sudetenland after the Munich conference (29th September 1938) was a cause of war, because it broke the Treaty of St. Germain.
  7. The Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia in March 1939, cause war because it defied the Munich agreement and ended Britain’s appeasement policy.
  8. The Nazi-Soviet Pact (29th August 1939) caused war because it sealed Poland’s downfall.
  9. The Nazi invasion of Poland (1st September 1939) caused war because Britain had guaranteed Poland’s borders.

Causes of the Second World War (Detail)

See Map and Summary Sheet

Nine Steps to War

1. The Rearmament of Germany

German rearmament began after Hitler left 1932-4 Geneva Disarmament Conference, stating that as the powers would not disarm to his level, he would rearm Germany to their level. By 1935 rearmament was well underway. This involved conscription and munitions factories.
Rearmament alarmed the French who, feeling insecure, reinforced the Maginot line (built between 1929 and 1934). This was a line of steel and concrete fortifications stretching from Belgium to Switzerland and was called ‘a gate without a fence’ because Germany would be able to avoid it and invade France via Belgium. France remained passive without Britain’s support.
Britain was sympathetic towards Germany and even signed an Anglo German naval Treaty (June 1935) allowing Germany’s navy to be 35% of the size of the Royal Navy. Hitler used his new found arms to support Franco in the Spanish Civil War (1936-9) Hitler sent the Condor Legion of the Luftwaffe to bomb Guernica on 26th April, 1937. Guernica was razed to the ground and Franco went on to conquer the Basque areas of Spain. Hitler had used Spain as a practise ground.

2. The Remilitarization of the Rhineland (1936)

Having broken the Treaty of Versailles once, Hitler risked doing it a second time by marching 30,000 troops into Cologne on 7th March 1936. France, with 250,000 troops mobilised, remained passive because Britain would not support her. Britain took the view that Germany was ‘marching into her own back yard.’
To show that his remilitarization was popular, Hitler held a plebiscite, which showed that 98.8% were in favour. He went on to build his own defensive fortification, the Siegfried Line.

3. The Rome Berlin Axis (October 1936)

Originally Mussolini did not want to be Hitler’s ally and in 1935 talks were held with Britain and France at the Stresa Front, but these came to nothing when Anthony Eden of Britain threatened oil sanctions against Mussolini during the Abyssinian crisis. This caused the Rome-Berlin Axis in 1936. Mussolini and Hitler strengthened their alliance on two occasions
  1. The Anti-Commintern Pact (November 1937) with Japan.
  2. The Pact of Steel (May 1939).

4. Britain’s policy of Appeasement (May/June 1937 – March 1939)

Neville Chamberlain became British Prime Minister on 28th May 1937, and followed the policy of appeasing Germany, believing that all Hitler wanted to do was unite German speaking people. In so doing, Hitler would break the Treaty of Versailles (28th June 1919) but Chamberlain did not believe Hitler would cause war. Churchill disagreed, citing Mein Kampf (1924) where Hitler had written that Germany must regain lands ‘in the East … by the power of the sword.’
Chamberlain had misinterpreted Hitler’s aims. (We have the benefit of hindsight.)

5. The Anschluss with Austria (13th March, 1938)

Austrian Fascists wanted to unite with Germany but Schuschnigg, the Austrian Chancellor, wanted Austria to be independent. He was unable to gain support from abroad (France and the Little Entente) so agreed to meet Hitler in Berlin. He was persuaded to accept Hitler’s henchman Seyss-Inquart as Minster of the Interior. Rioting in Vienna increased under Seyss-Inquart’s leadership and Schuschnigg resigned. Seyss-Inquart invited Hitler to assist him and on 13th March, 1938 troops from the Wermacht entered Austria. In a plebiscite on the Anschluss a vote of 99.75% in favour was recorded. This was ‘rigged’ by biased questioning. Hitler made it seem that he had been invited into Austria, in fact he had incited the union.

6. Hitler Gained the Sudetenland (29th September, 1938)

The Sudetenland was lost by Austria in the Treaty of St. Germain (10th September 1919) and hereby Czechoslovakia gained 3 million German speaking people. After the Anschluss the Sudeten German leader, Konrad Henlein, demanded a union with Germany. Unable to receive help from France, the Czech Premier, Benes, mobilised alone. Fearing war, Chamberlain met Hitler on three occasions at Berchtesgaden, Godesburg and at Munich.
Munich Agreement (29th September, 1938)
This was signed by Hitler, Mussolini, Chamberlain and Daladier. Benes was not present. It said:
  1. Hitler could take the Sudetenland the following day without a plebiscite
  2. Hungary and Poland could take border districts from Czechoslovakia
  3. Britain and Germany would never go to war.
Chamberlain’s Reaction
On his return to England, Chamberlain announced that he had gained ‘peace with honour, peace in our time’. The majority rejoiced, except Churchill.
Hitler’s Reaction
In public Hitler seemed satisfied, but in private he exploded saying ‘that fellow Chamberlain has spoiled my entry into Prague.’

7. The Fall of Czechoslovakia (March 1939)

In March 1939, Hitler forced Lithuania to give him Memel where most people spoke German. So far Hitler had only taken German speaking territory, so Chamberlain could still appease Hitler. However, in March 1939, Hitler threatened to bomb Prague, so the Czechs surrendered. Chamberlain realised appeasement had failed, so he began to rearm Britain and guarantee peace in Poland.

8. Nazi-Soviet Pact (29th August, 1939) – The Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact

By the summer of 1939, Hitler’s plans to invade Poland were complete. He realised that to invade Poland mighty cause Britain to attack him from the West but he was more concerned to avoid a Russian attack from the east. Therefore to avoid a war on two fronts, he arranged the Nazi-Soviet Pact, which said that if either country went to war the other would remain neutral.
Hitler gained the chance to invade Poland with a war on one front, if Britain supported Poland.
Stalin of USSR gained time to rearm in case Hitler attacked him later, and the chance to gain the eastern half of Poland. This would provide the USSR with a bufferzone.

9. German Invasion of Poland (1st September, 1939)

German tanks invaded West Prussia and Posen on the 1st September 1939 using blitzkrieg tactics. (This is a lightning, sudden attack co-ordinating air, then land forces). Chamberlain sent an ultimatum (a warning with a threat) saying that if Hitler did not withdraw from Poland by 11am, 3rd September 1939, Britain would declare war. On 3rd September, Britain, followed by France, declared war on Germany.

Causes of the Second World War - Vocabulary

  • Lebensraum – living space, e.g. Hitler’s aim to take land from bordering states to achieve self-sufficiency (autarky)
  • Anschluss – union, e.g. Austria and Germany (March, 1938)
  • Appeasement – to give into an aggressor little by little, in the hope of preventing war. E.g. Britain appeased Germany (May/June 1937 – March 1939)
  • Blitzkrieg – lightning attack, co-ordinating air and land forces. e.g. Germany’s attack on Poland (1st September 1939)
  • Remilitarization – rearming and area, e.g. Germany remilitarized the Rhineland (1936)
  • Plebiscite (referendum) – a vote on an issue, e.g. Hitler’s plebiscites on remilitarization and the Anschluss of Austria and Germany (Hitler fixed his referendums in 1936 and for the Anschluss in 1938, so no-one expected him to have a plebiscite for the Sudetenland. He fixed them by biased questioning.)
  • Ultimatum – a warning with a threat, e.g. Britain’s ultimatum for Hitler to leave Poland by 11am on the 3rd September 1939.
  • Buffer zone – a protective barrier of land, e.g. Eastern Poland taken by the USSR as protection against a future German attack.
  • Rearmament – manufacturing of weapons and conscription, e.g. Germany (after 1934), Britain after the taking of Sudetenland
  • Autarky – self-sufficiency economically, e.g. Germany under Hitler and Schacht to enable Germany to avoid imports
  • Aggression – hostile or violent action, e.g. Germany was aggressive towards Czechoslovakia (March, 1939) and Poland (1st September, 1939)
  • Diktat – none-negotiated decision/arrangement, e.g. The Munich Agreement, forced onto Czechoslovakia (1938)
  • Passive – to spectate, i.e. not take part in the action, e.g. Britain and France were passive towards the German remilitarization of the Rhineland (March 1936)
  • Incite – devious planning, e.g. Hitler incited the Anschluss (March, 1938)

Causes of the Second World War (Summary)

Long term, Short term and Immediate Causes

Long term

  1. The harshness of the Treaty of Versailles (28th June, 1919) on Germany:
    • Land losses
    • Reparations
    • War Guilt
  2. The failure of the League of the Nations to:
    • Keep peace
    • Bring about disarmament

Short term

  1. a. Hitler’s aggression:
    • His aims
    • His actions (see steps to war: 1,2,3,5,6,7,8,9)
  2. The aggression of the other powers:
    • Italy – Abyssinia (1935), Rome-Berlin Axis, Anti-Commintern Pact, Albania
    • Japan – Manchuria (1931), Anti-Commintern Pact (November, 1937)
    • Russia – Nazi-Soviet Pact, Invasion of Poland
  3. The democracies were too passive
    • USA – isolation
    • France – would not do anything without Britain’s support
    • Britain – sympathetic towards Germany, e.g. Anglo-German Naval Treaty (1935) and later appeased her (May/June 1937 – March 1939)


  1. German invasion of Poland (1st September, 1939)
© 2010-2012 The Little Ganesha® All Rights Reserved.