April 20, 2018, by Philip Moriarty
Spring Into Science: When Physics Meets Music Meets Maths…
Another post from Hannah (Coleman) in short succession! This time it’s on “Spring Into Science”, an event focussed on… Well, I’ll let Hannah explain.
Following on from last year’s successful Spring into Science event, the School of Physics and Astronomy welcomed 200 year 8 pupils from schools across Nottingham for a day of lectures and interactive demonstrations. The aim of the event is to cultivate (and perhaps extend) the natural curiosity that many people have in trying to understand why and how things work, by showcasing how fun and playful science and physics can be.
The eager audience was treated to a display of all things physics, with sound as its central theme. The lecture, enthusiastically presented by Professor Philip Moriarty, combined explanations of topics in physics familiar to secondary school children, with a string of live demos (from illustrating resonance using a slinky, to musical lighting and acoustic levitation) and of course, very willing volunteers from the audience.
The one-hour lecture was followed by a Q&A session, facilitated by Professor Ed Copeland, and a panel of students and staff, ranging from undergrads and postgrads to lecturing and research staff. The Nottingham pupils asked some great and often challenging questions, with the answer from the panel quite often being ‘we just don’t know…yet!’.
Topics ranged from all things astronomy, to the science of fingerprints, and the life of a scientist. When the panel was asked what inspired them to become a physicist, the answer proved how diverse a range of backgrounds physicists have, and how many different paths lead to physics.