Physics Summer School
2023 programme information
Programme dates: 3 July - 15 July or 7 August - 19 August
Programme fee: £5,825
This subject focuses on the physics and mathematics of a central concept in the physical sciences where you will learn to look at a problem or physical situation using three different tools: the mathematics of calculus; performing experiments; and simulating the situation using a computer.
You will then combine your newly honed programming skills with theoretical knowledge to complete a team-based project.
- Conduct practical experiments, collect and analyse data.
- Encounter new mathematical techniques in a lecture-led teaching session
- Learn the basics of the Python programming language and create computer simulations.
- Present the results of your experiment as a group.
- Finish the week with a real understanding of oscillations and their importance throughout the natural sciences.
Download a SAMPLE Physics timetable
During the 2022 programme students participated in the following sessions. 2023 programme content is currently being finalised and the session outlines below are indicative content.
Physics session outline
Students revised key physics themes before moving on to proper mathematical formalisms required to understand the physics of oscillators and simple harmonic motions. They then moved on to practical experiments in the lab.
Based in a computer suite, students were taught the basics of computer programming and the Python programming language during an interactive session. They will then be introduced to some of the powerful mathematical and scientific libraries that can be used in Python and common physics related tasks that use them.
Students created a computer model simulating the real physics of oscillators including real world effects such as damping and coupling between oscillators:
- Use Python to fit the data collected on the first day.
- Simulate a driven oscillator and a resonance curve.
- Compare the simulation to the actual results.
On the final day students worked in groups to prepare a short presentation based on the work of the previous days.
Meet the teachers
Dr Alexander Richards
Research Associate, Department of Physics.
Group oscillation experiment
Group programming session
Group planning discussion with help from student mentors
The team reviewing the experiment data