Student Launches Physics Lecture Series

Peter Symonds College student Jessica Cragg has arranged a series of physics lectures featuring leading experts as part of a student led initiative new to Symonds this year. Jess describes the Physics Lecture series as a new initiative ‘set up to promote and encourage an interest in physics beyond the A-Level curriculum. Every Tuesday lunchtime, different lecturers from nearby universities are invited to come to the College and share their research with students, covering topics ranging from Higher Dimensions to Dark Matter.’

The most recent lecture featured Nick Evans, Professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of Southampton, whose talk on ‘Dark Energy’ gave over 40 students an insight into current investigations of the enigmatic phenomenon and the opportunity to listen to the visiting professor speak about his specialist research.

Commenting on the talk, Professor Evans said ‘It was great to hear so many enthusiastic questions. Dark energy is a big problem area for physics and a very exciting future lies ahead.’

Other sessions in the Physics Lecture Series have featured Claudia Maraston, Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Portsmouth Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation, who spoke on ‘Galaxy Formation’; Matt Staniforth from Southampton University, who gave a talk on ‘4 Dimensional Topology’; and Professor Justin Read, Head of Physics at the University of Surrey, on the topic ‘Dark Matter’. Further sessions are planned for later in the term.

Jess said, ‘I really wanted to highlight the most fascinating areas of physics beyond the curriculum, in order to inspire a general interest in physics. I also wanted to create an interesting and stimulating enrichment activity for physics students who are hoping to take physics at a higher level.’

Supervising teacher Simon Hunt said ‘Jess has shown real dedication in setting up this programme of lectures from local scientists. It’s a fantastic opportunity for physics students to engage with cutting edge research. The lectures are fascinating and I always look forward to them.’

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28 November 2019