Festival of Physics
The Festival of Physics is an annual event, sponsored jointly by the South-West Branch of the Institute of Physics and the School of Physics of the University of Bristol. This year it is being held on Saturday, 4 March 2017, at the H H Wills Physics Laboratory, University of Bristol, Tyndall Avenue, Bristol BS8 1TL.
We will have talks and demonstrations throughout the day. These will be suitable for families, children, students, adults, practising and retired physicists, indeed anyone with an interest in Physics! The whole day is free of charge, but we do ask you to REGISTER, so that we know how many people to expect.
10:00 Registration and refreshments
10:25 Introduction and Welcome
10:30 Dr Annela Seddon (School of Physics, University of Bristol): "Small Science, Big Future - How Nanotechnology is changing the world"
Nanoscience and Nanotechnology allow scientists the chance to bring together Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Engineering to understand the world on the small scale. Objects on this scale, around one billionth of a metre transform from everyday objects and begin to behave in a weird and unpredictable way. In this talk, we will find out more about these strange properties and how scientists can measure and understand them, and see examples of how nanoscience is being used to solve global problems.
11:30 Coffee break
12:00 Dr Anthony Laing (School of Physics, University of Bristol): "Quantum Information and Quantum Technologies"
The 20th Century saw the rise of the information age and modern computers. During the same period, physicists came to understand that harnessing the properties of microscopic particles, such as atoms and photons of light, could enable altogether different and more powerful information technologies. These include ultra-secure quantum communications and quantum computers to solve problems that would take the lifetime of the universe for conventional computers. The physics that underpins these technologies still perplexes us, just as it did for Einstein who realised that the rules of quantum mechanics seem to imply that distant particles can instantly communicate with one another. Today, we routinely use this property of quantum particles, even though we do not fully understand it. In this talk, I will discuss some of this history and explain key aspects of quantum information, and look at some of the applications of quantum technologies that might affect us in the future.
13:00 Lunch. We hope to provide a free 'picnic lunch' for all who register, but if this should not prove possible, there are many cafes, restaurants and pubs nearby.
14:00 Ms Pavlina Theodosiou (Bristol BioEnergy Centre, UWE, Bristol): "Pee Power -- Electricity from Urine: where are we and where are we heading?"
Not a day, not a moment goes by that we don’t use electricity. It has become part and parcel of our everyday life, from charging batteries to charging cars. However, this demand for electricity has come at the detriment of our planet, with global warming and natural resource depletion. Thus now it is more urgent than ever to find alternative energy sources that are affordable and accessible to everyone.
So, wouldn’t it be great if we can utilise a naturally occurring waste to harvest energy? This is possible through the Microbial Fuel Cell technology, as we can generate electricity from waste and especially urine!
In this presentation we will explore the applications of MFCs that have thus far been implemented such as powering robots, charging mobile phones as well as lighting up urinals. The presentation will also include videos of EvoBot, the 3D-printer transformed robot, which is operating experiments with MFCs and it is aimed at building MFCs from scratch using 3D printable materials.
15:00 Prof Paul Hardaker (CEO, Institute of Physics): "Environmental aspects of the new IOP Headquarters building"
In July 2018 the London office of the Institute of Physics will move in to a new building. This is the first building the Institute (or the physical society before it) has owned and it presents an opportunity to construct a purpose-built building that, as well as being a place where the staff team work, will be a London base for members and a space where we are able to showcase physics to the wider public. The building will have five floors, and just two of those will provide the office space for the staff team. The top floor will provide seminar and meeting rooms. The lower ground and ground floors will house the main lecture theatre and gallery space, a member room and affordable London workspace for hire by the physics community. The gallery will hold our themed art-science exhibitions, school events, and allow us to showcase the work of our Nations and Branches, and the activities across our academic and industrial communities. It is important to the Institute that the building contains live physics experiments in it and also deploys technology that is strongly vested in physics-based innovation. The environmental design and management of the building involved both of these and the presentation will talk about what is involved in this and how it has driven the evolution of the plans for new building.
15:30 (approx) End
In parallel with the talks above, we will have three performances of the "Magnetism Show" presented by staff and students from Badminton School, Bristol. The show is pitched for GCSE level and will cover paramagnetism, diamagnetism, ferromagnetism (including the Curie Point) and possibly some electromagnetism (including superconductors.)
10:30 -- 11:15 Magnetism Show
12:00 -- 12:45 Magnetism Show
14:00 -- 14:45 Magnetism Show
Please REGISTER separately if you wish to attend one of these, as space is limited.
Demonstrations in the breaks between talks will include:
"How adaptable are robots? See how they can solve a Rubik's cube, sort bricks, park a car or even behave like an ant!" (Paul Treble)
Using light to make technology, optical filtering, bioluminescence, rainbows (Bristol Doctoral students in Quantum Engineering)
Low temperature experiments (students from Badminton School)
Marvin and Milo demonstrations, which you can also do at home (Bristol Undergraduate students)
Information on how to reach the University is available at <http://www.bristol.ac.uk/maps/directions/>
The Physics Laboratory is at no.33a on the University map at
We recommend you travel to the Festival by bus, as there is limited parking near Physics. The University car parks are free at weekends, which means they fill up quickly with shoppers' cars. You may be able to find a space on University Walk (see map), or behind the Arts Faculty on Woodland Road (no.58 on the map.) There is a multi-storey (paying) car park at Park Row/Trenchard Street.
If you have any questions about the Festival, please contact Dr Vincent Smith, email firstname.lastname@example.org