Institute of Physics Christmas Lectures at Swansea

The first week in December saw over 500 schoolchildren, over two days, pack the campus’ Taliesin Theatre for the annual Institute of Physics (IOP) Schools Lectures, which traditionally role into Swansea as the festive season approaches.

IOP 1This year, the Schools Lecturer was Dr Laura Thomas who spoke to enthusiastic audiences on both days on “Defying Gravity – make physics your launch pad”. After explaining the physics of spaceflight, Laura showed us how space was opened up by mankind, and how a new breed of entrepreneurs is revolutionising access to space travel for future generations. Laura pointed out that studying physics at University was one way to be a part of this revolution.

The afternoon lectures were given by Dr Mark Lewney (the Rock Doctor) and Prof. Pete Vukusic, from Exeter University. Mark’s “Rock Guitar in 11 Dimensions” lecture uses rock music, played with great skill by Mark himself on his custom Ibanez guitar, to explore the physics of vibration and all the physical effects it underlies – all the way to String Theory. Pete’s superbly presented “Light fantastic: the Science of Colour” illustrated how important uses of light and colour range all the way from the study of massive astronomical objects, down the microscopic structures found in nature on butterflies and beetles.

The College of Science and the Department of Physics are proud to host these events in partnership with the IOP. Audience numbers are going up all the time – make a note to book a place on next year’s event!