East Midlands Institute of Physics

I will be posting links to activities and outreach opportunities as part of the East Midlands Branch of the Institute of Physics. For undergraduates – this is a good opportunity to get involved in science communication (or to play with some cool toys).

East Midlands Prestige Lecture, Leicester University, 16th January 2018

Jim Al-Khalili, “Written in the Stars: how to live happily in a deterministic universe”

“With ongoing discussions between neuroscientists and philosophers on the existence, or not, of free will, and with so many people, even in the so-called ‘enlightened’ West, still believing that their fate is somehow linked to the movements of the stars and planets, what does modern physics have to say on the matter of determinism and chance? Indeed, is our future preordained? This lecture will be a whistle-stop tour of modern physics and whether the future is knowable.

Jim will describe how our views have changed on the subject over the centuries. Starting with Newton’s notion of a ‘clockwork universe’ in which, if we were able to know the positions and states of motion of all the particles in the universe we should, in principle, be able to compute its state at an point in the future – assuming we had a supercomputer powerful enough. He then moves on to Pierre-Simon Laplace and his future predicting demon and Einstein and his block universe of four-dimensional spacetime. But can quantum mechanics, resting as it does in the realms of chance and probability, provided the fuzziness that might give us back an open future, and with it our free will? Or maybe chaos theory can rescue free will. The final conclusion might shock and disturb, but it shows that this subject is still as fascinating and infuriating as ever.”

3 Minute Wonder, Nottingham, 13th February 2018

Come watch as early career researchers try to explain their research in just 3 minutes. With nothing more than a single slide and any props they bring along, there’s £250 up for grabs.

Science in the Park, Wollaton Hall, Nottingham,  10th March 2018

Helpers are needed for a brownie badge themed stall: ‘I’m a Physicist’.

Community Day, Loughborough,  21st April 2018

“Each year, Loughborough University hosts a ‘Community Day’ event where Loughborough locals are invited on campus to take part in various ‘science based’ activities.”

This year I will be running a ‘light painting’ tent and a liquid nitrogen demo.

Ongoing: Observatory visits as part of brownie/scout/girl guides (etc) badges

The observatory at Loughborough is open to visits from local youth groups as part of the ‘space’ badge activities. Leaders should contact me by email to arrange a visit.