Outreach

The Physics Department is committed to increasing the understanding and engagement of people of all ages with physics and science in general. We undertake a wide range of activities such as school talks, public lectures, teacher training, open days, work experience and hands on workshops.

The Physics Department's Outreach Officer, Dr Simon Foster, undertakes a variety of outreach activities on behalf of the department as well as helping postgraduate students and researchers to undertake their own outreach activities. Dr Simon Foster has a research background in solar physics, specialising in solar variability and climate change, and has previous worked as a teacher at several London schools. As well as running activities for students and adults, Simon is passionate about helping primary and secondary teachers who do not have a background in physics or science, to understand the subject and to help them develop strategies to teach the subject in the classroom.

We are more than happy to chat with you to discuss an activity or an event you may wish to undertake. For further details please see the links below and to book and event, please complete the online form and a member of the outreach team will contact you to discuss your requirements.

Read about past events here.

Tabbed information block

Space and the Atmosphere

Space

Space and Atmospheric Physics
Outreach codeIntended AudienceTitleSpeaker
 S1 6th Form  Space Weather, (Describes some of the physics of the sun's atmosphere, the aurorae etc., concentrating on those aspects which affect humans e.g.through damage to spacecraft) Prof Steve Schwartz (Space & Atmospheric Physics)
 S2 A Level Space Weather Prof Steve Schwartz (Space & Atmospheric Physics)
 S4 Yr5 - Yr7 Gunpowder Workshop: In this practical workshop we look at Rocket fuel and humans early attempts to launch rockets in to space. The students taking part actually get to make gunpowder. Dr Simon Foster
 S5   Climate change (Is it happening? What evidence do we have relating to its causes? What is the underlying physics?) Prof Joanna Haigh (Space & Atmospheric Physics)
 S6   The Physics of Weather Forecasting: physics acting on a large scale. (Describes satellite observations and how the atmosphere is modeled on computers.) Prof Joanna Haigh (Space & Atmospheric Physics)
 S10 Age 10/11 The Solar System with Fruit and Veg  Dr Roberto Trotta (Astrophysics)
 S11 Age 16 The Invisible Universe - Hunting down the mysterious dark matter Dr Roberto Trotta (Astrophysics)
 S12 Age 14/16 The Dark Side of the Universe
Dr Roberto Trotta (Astrophysics)
 S13   Jupiter and Saturn. Prof Michele Dougherty (Space & Atmospheric Physics)
 S14   The Cassini/Huygens mission to Saturn and Titan. Prof Michele Dougherty (Space & Atmospheric Physics)
 S22 Years 5/6 Primary The Universe Prof Arttu Rajantie (Theoretical Physics)
 S28 GCSE to A-Level The Age of the Universe Dr Daniel Mortlock (Astrophysics)
 S29 GCSE to A-Level The Most Distance Objects in the Universe Dr Daniel Mortlock (Astrophysics)
 S32 Pre-GCSE to A Level Big Bang and Expanding Universe (Lecture) Prof Arttu Rajantie (Theoretical Physics)
 S34 A Level Solar Talk: In this talk we investigate Solar variability and climate change. We will look at how features on the Sun’s surface, such as sunspots, can affect the energy output of the Sun and how this can affect the climate on Earth. We will explore how the Sun’s energy has varied in the past, what is currently occurring and how this can affect climate. Dr Simon Foster
S35 Years 5 - 8 It IS Rocket Science: Through exciting demonstrations & easy explanations, the audience will look at the first explosive attempts to launch humans in to space and answer questions such as: what is rocket fuel? How do we launch a rocket in to space? How do humans live in space? Dr Simon Foster
S37 Years 3 - 8 Space Race: In this workshop, pupils are placed in to teams and challenged with designing and building a rocket capable of launching an astronaut to space and back. However, the fuel used to power the rockets is water and the astronaut is in fact an egg! Pupils will develop their own understanding about gravity, Newton's law of motion, mat erials, forces and air resistance. Dr Simon Foster
Updated: November 2014
Summary of the table's contents

It IS Rocket Science

The 2013 Children's Christmas Demonstration presented by Dr Simon Foster, Outreach Officer, Department of Physics

Light and Energy

Light and energy

Light and Energy
Outreach CodeIntended audienceTitleSpeaker
 S3 6th Form Solar Cells Prof Jenny Nelson (Experimental Solid State Physics)
 S8   Light Fantastic (including demonstrations and experiments with light for 5 sets of 6 pupils)  Prof Richard Thompson (Quantum Optics & Laser Science)
 S9 Age 6/7 Light and Dark  Dr Roberto Trotta (Astrophysics)
 S16   Photovoltaic electricity: power from the Sun. (Describes research being carried out at Imperial into the next generation of solar cells which have tremendous potential as a clean and inexhaustible electricity source.) Prof Keith Barnham (Experimental Solid State)
 S17   Superconductivity – an extraordinary state of matter Prof Lesely Cohen (Experimental Solid State)
 S18 GCSE - A Level Working with Waves - Spectroscopy research demonstrates how light waves can be used to analyse trace chemicals in the air. These same principles can also be applied to sound waves to create interesting remixes of contemporary songs. Dr Mark Richards (Teaching & Learning)
 S23 Years 5/6 Primary  Light Fantastic Prof Richard Thompson (Quantum Optics & Laser Science)
 S25 Pre-GCSE to A-Level  The Energy Crisis Prof Adrian Sutton (Condensed Matter Theory)
 S26 Pre-GCSE to A-Level  Materials are the Biggest Obsticle to Electricity from Nuclear Fusion Prof Adrian Sutton (Condensed Matter Theory)
Updated: November 2014
Summary of the table's contents

Matter and Particles

Matter and Particles

Matter and Particles
Outreach codeIntended AudienceTitleSpeaker
 S11 Age 16 The Invisible Universe - Hunting down the mysterious dark matter Dr Roberto Trotta (Astrophysics)
 S12 Age 14/16 The Dark Side of the Universe Dr Roberto Trotta (Astrophysics)
 S15   Life as a Quantum Mechanic. (Describes the difference between classical and quantum views of matter, and how we now use the rules of Quantum Mechanics to design the semiconductor devices like diode lasers, which have given us e.g. the internet. Includes saxophone playing, balloon folding and laser water-pistols.) Prof Chris Phillips (Experimental Solid State)
 S17   Superconductivity – an extraordinary state of matter Prof Lesely Cohen (Experimental Solid State)
 S24 A Level First trap your atom (Demonstration/Lecture) Prof Richard Thompson (Quantum Optics & Laser Science)
 S30 GCSE to A-Level Introductory talk on Particle Physics Dr Mitesh Patel (High Energy Physics)
 S33 GCSE to A Level Creation of Matter Prof Arttu Rajantie (Theoretical Physics)
 S38 A Level “What Does the Higgs Say?" A talk to explain the experime ntal discovery of the Higgs boson at the LHC, how it fits in the Standard Model of particle physics, and what it tells us about the fundamental laws of nature. Prof Arttu Rajantie (Theoretical Physics)
Updated: November 2014
Summary of the table's contents

Other topics

Other

Other topics
Outreach codeIntended audienceTitleSpeaker
 S7 Year 6 Making Waves: the physics of Music (including demonstrations and experiments with equipment, oscilloscopes etc. provided by Imperial) Prof Richard Thompson (Quantum Optics & Laser Science)
 S15   Life as a Quantum Mechanic. (Describes the difference between classical and quantum views of matter, and how we now use the rules of Quantum Mechanics to design the semiconductor devices like diode lasers, which have given us e.g. the internet. Includes saxophone playing, balloon folding and laser water-pistols.) Prof Chris Phillips (Experimental Solid State)
 S19 A Level Sculpting Light Prof Martin McCall (Photonics)
 S20 Pre-GCSE to A Level  Do we still have inventors? (Schools in South West) Prof Gareth Parry (Experimental Solid State)
 S21 Pre-GCSE to A Level  A History of the Telegraph - from the Victorian 'Internet' to modern day communications (Schools in the South West) Prof Gareth Parry (Experimental Solid State)
 S26 Pre-GCSE to A-Level Materials are the Biggest Obsticle to Electricity from Nuclear Fusion Prof Adrian Sutton (Condensed Matter Theory)
 S27 Pre-GCSE to A-Level The Physics of Materials Prof Adrian Sutton (Condensed Matter Theory)
 S31 Pre-GCSE to A-Level Pathways into Physics (Talk/Workshop) Dr Mark Richards (Teaching & Learning)
 S36 Years 10 and up When Science Attacks: In this talk we explore what happens when science doesn't play by the rules and decides to attack! We will look at the science behind some of the more amazing headlines in the news and use demonstrations to show the science behind these topics and the human impact of them. Dr Simon Foster
Updated: November 2014
Summary of the table's contents