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The Festival of Physics

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18:00 26 Oct 2018 – 17:30 28 Oct 2018
Location icon
Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom, EH8 8AS

The Festival of Physics is a celebration of the wonder of science, the power of curiosity and the inventions and discoveries that shape our world and our future. Join the Institute of Physics between 26 – 28 October at Dynamic Earth for a packed three-day programme of scintillating science shows, hands-on workshops and inspiring experiences, plus creative conversations from the domains of music, theatre and art alongside talks and lectures for all ages. All events at the festival are free.

From the edge of the universe to the heart of the atom, from spacetime to stardust, come and play with us.

 

ASTRONOMY ON TAP

This special edition of the international phenomenon brings you three informative and exciting ten- minute talks presented by local scientists, exploring the concept of time in imaginative ways. There will be fun pub quizzes with space-themed goodies up for grabs, and plenty of time to chat and ask questions. Come along and drink in the universe!

Sat 27 Oct

2100 – 2230 (90 mins)

Talk

Age 18 +

 

 

GRAVITATIONAL WAVES EXHIBITION

Hear about how the most violent events in the Universe cause ripples in space-time, and how we can detect these gravitational waves. Learn about how this new astronomy will provide a completely new way of sensing our Universe, and see how University of Glasgow physicists are pushing back technological boundaries to make this work possible.

Sat 27 and Sun 28 Oct

Drop in activity

STRATOSPHERE

All ages

 

 

Listening to spacetime

Gravitational wave astronomy is one of the hottest topics in physics. Now we can ‘listen’ to the universe, whereas before we could only ‘see’.  Hear from some of the University of Glasgow scientists who were part of the worldwide team that found the first gravitational waves, and discover how they measured the incredibly small effects generated by the most violent events in our universe – the collision of super-massive black holes. 

Sat 27 Oct

1500 – 1545

OZONE

Sun 28 Oct

1230 – 1315

BIOSPHERE

Talk

Age 14 + 

 

 

PHOTOGRAPHY AT THE SPEED OF LIGHT

Get your ultrafast portrait taken using our camera with frame rates so high they can see light move at 300 million meters per second! Our camera’s technology will enable you to observe the interesting physical effects when you’re hit by a pulse of light and find out how this could have future applications in for example, driverless cars. What’s more, you’ll get to take home a copy of your ultrafast portrait to show your friends!

Sat 27 and Sun 28 Oct

Drop in activity

STRATOSPHERE

All ages

 

 

COLOUR: THE SCIENCE BEHIND THE SENSE

You’ll never trust your eyes again after you’ve seen Dr Ben Craven use his favourite colour experiments to explore the world of colour vision. In this demo-packed talk, find out how to make a black thing look white, how two lights can be the same but different at the same time…and why we are all colour blind.

Sat 27th October: 

1300 – 1350

1700 – 1750

Sun 28th October:

1100 – 1150

1400 – 1450

1630 – 1720

(50 mins)

BIOSPHERE

Talk

Age 12 +              

 

IS WAS WILL BE

Words, sound and silence interplay in this poetic exploration of what it means to be human within the passage of time. Traversing the universal experiences of longing, impermanence, restlessness and the joy of the moment, a poet and a composer reverberate off each other creating a rich, atmospheric soundtrack. While away in the spaces between the tiniest moment of the everyday and our place in the great expanse, between the unrelenting trudge of time and its suspension in moments of wonder.

Fri 26 Oct

1900 – 1945 (45 mins)

Sat 27 Oct

1800 - 1845 (45 mins)

Show

Age 16+

 

STAR MAKER

An award-winning animated dome show from ARCUS based on the sci-fi classic by Olaf Stapledon, Star Maker describes a history of life in the universe and tackles philosophical themes such as the essence of intelligence and the relationship between creation and creator. This beautiful work has an amazing scale and vision, encompassing multiple universes over timescales of billions of years.

Fri 26 Oct

1830 - 1900

2100 - 2130

Sat 27 Oct

1730 - 1800

1930 - 2000

2030 - 2100

2100 - 2130

2200 -2230

Sun 28 Oct

1630 -1700

1700 - 1730

(30 mins)

The Dome

Show

All ages

 

LIGHT + PHYSICS = ART

The OPTIMA students bring you a world of hands-on wonder for curious creatures of all ages. Come play with light, capture a rainbow, take a straw camera selfie with our giant fibre optic cable, and experiment with the earliest form of photography to create your own blueprint to take home. Release your inner artist with us!

Sat 27 and Sun 28 Oct

Drop in activity

BASE 2

All ages

 

 

 

SLOAN DIGITAL SKY SURVEY

The Sloan Digital Sky Survey is a project to create the largest and most detailed map in human history. This worldwide collaboration is collecting data on an unprecedented scale to gain a more detailed knowledge of our Universe. Come and explore their interactive, informative and immersive resources to inspire scientists and be inspired to wonder at not only our world, but our universe.

Sat 27 and Sun 28 Oct

Drop in activity

STRATOSPHERE

Age 12 +

 

 

THE LASER GARDEN

The Laser Garden is a collection of sculptures which use the physics of lasers to create art. Inspired by technology and evolution, designer and maker Johnathan Elders has created beautiful static and costume pieces, celebrating our evolved creativity and the wonder of science.

Sat 27 and Sun 28 Oct

Visual art

STRATOSPHERE

All ages

 

 

 

TIME FROM THE SUN AND STARS

The repeating cycles of the Sun, Moon and stars have helped people tell time for thousands of years. Sunrise, sunset and noon; days, seasons and years – all come from space. Join Tacye Phillipson from the National Museum of Scotland to be introduced to some of the fascinating historical instruments used to measure the Earth’s daily rotation and annual orbit around the Sun, and find out whether they are they still relevant today.

Sat 27 and Sun 28 Oct

1200 – 1220 (20 mins)

1400 – 1420 (20 mins)

OZONE

Talk

Age 14+

 

 

 

 

QUANTUM ROBIN

Welcome to the navigation station! Scientists are just beginning to learn about the role played by quantum mechanics in the way that migratory birds find their way around the world. Find your way by following the directions of a VR headset that gives you a true birds-eye view of the world.

Sat 27 and Sun 28 Oct

Drop in activity

STRATOSPHERE

Age 7+

 

 

ORBS

Explore the weird and fascinating world of quantum mechanics in this computer game with a twist. You are a scientist fleeing a collapsing facility. Equipped only with a pair of experimental entangled orbs, you must solve quantum puzzles in order to escape. Presented by Quantessential Games and Heriot-Watt’s Dr Erik Gauger.

Sat 27 and Sun 28 Oct

Drop in activity

STRATOSPHERE

Age 7+

 

 

SPACE & TIME

What is Space? What is Time? And what the heck is space-time? Come and chat to astronomers from the Royal Observatory Edinburgh to discuss these fundamental components of the universe and how scientists use them to uncover its secrets. Join us as we look towards an exciting new era of space based technology which will give us a unique view of ancient galaxies using light and allow us to detect minute changes in space-time due to gravitational waves.

Sun 28 Oct

Drop in activity

STRATOSPHERE

Age 14+

 

 

JAMES CLERK MAXWELL: A MAN OF SCIENCE, POETRY AND MUSIC

A public lecture with music to celebrate the life and work of the game-changing Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell. Maxwell was a member of the Clerk family of Penicuik. He was fond of the poetry of Burns, he was known to sing and accompany himself on guitar and he wrote poems, some of them amusing, some thought provoking. Prof Tom Stevenson of the Museum of Communication will present a biography of Maxwell and will describe some of his major contributions to science which have had a huge impact on our modern way of life. Maxwell analysed the perception of colour and demonstrated colour photography, thus establishing the science of modern colour printing and digital imaging. Perhaps the greatest contribution was his work on the physics of electricity, magnetism and light which laid the foundation for wireless communication that plays such a major role in our lives today. As well as stories from his childhood and personal life as well as explanations of some of his scientific work, the lecture will be interspersed with music. Some of Maxwell's poems have been set to music by Andy Munro. These will be performed by Andy and his daughter, Flora, with support from musicians Dave Elliot and John Sampson. 

Sat 27 Oct

1430 – 1610

BIOSPHERE

Show

Age 14+

 

QUIZ IN SPACE!

Join Radio 4’s multi-award winning comedian Helen Keen (It Is Rocket Science, Big Problems With Helen Keen) for a spacetastic quiz pitting two surprise guest star team captains from the worlds of science and comedy and you - the whole audience – in a competition to be declared The Ultimate Cosmic Brain. Journey into the curious and surprising sides of the Universe:  featuring hard science, soft rock and galactic charades…

Fri 26 Oct

2000 - 2100

Show/Quiz

Age 16+

CAFÉ/BAR

 

 

CHOC FULL OF PHYSICS

Ever wondered how the laws of the universe shape the food of the gods? Physicists from the University of Edinburgh will put chocolate under the microscope in this extremely scientifically important (and interactive) investigation into the making of the world’s favourite treat, and how physics can be used to affect the way it looks, feels - and tastes. Experimentation has never been so delicious.

Sat 27  Oct

1700 -1800

BASE 3

Sun 28 Oct

1700 -1800

BASE 1

Workshop

Age 12+

 

PHYSICS WIZARDRY: POTION CLASS

Be prepared for an unusual class! With the power of Physics at our fingertips, we will show you how to make spectacular potions with unexpected effects. You will learn how to turn some boring liquids into some much more impressive, intriguing and beautiful substances; well behaved pupils might even get something to take home with them!

Sat 27  Oct

1200 -1300

BASE 3

Sun 28 Oct

1530 - 1630

BASE 1

Workshop

Age 7+

 

SUPER SOPA

Take a look at the latest research from the School of Physics and Astronomy University of Edinburgh, covering everything from exoplanets to lasers to complex fluids and the hunt for new physics beyond the Higgs. Come and meet the researchers studying these problems and get your burning questions answered by the experts!

Sat 27 and Sun 28 October

Drop in activity

All ages

STRATOSPHERE

 

LIGHT LAB

Enter the Ultraviolet Drawing Room and create amazing art with light. Learn about light and the spectrum while you draw all over the walls and tables with UV torches and watch your creations appear and disappear.

Sat 27 and Sun 28 October

Drop in activity

All ages

STRATOSPHERE

 

 

COOKING WITH SCIENCE: A CULINARY ARTS WORKSHOP

Ever wondered why store-bought ice-cream can stay out of the fridge for longer than home-made one? How does a pressure cooker reduce cooking time? How do you make bubble tea? Is time important in cooking? Come along to our interactive workshop to find out! Dive into the culinary arts and explore how science can improve cooking and help achieve desired flavours and textures. Discover techniques used by chefs to create innovative dishes. We will explain how stuff works, do some demonstrations, then let you have a go! Try something truly creative, and possibly gain a new hobby…

Sat 27  Oct

1400 - 1600

Sun 28 Oct

1500 - 1700

BASE 3

Workshop

Age 16+

BOOKING REQUIRED - £3

 

 

PHYSICS CEILIDH

Are you ready to Strip the Electron? Or try the Planetary Festival Dance? Join the award-winning Science Ceilidh band along with researchers from the School of Physics at the University of Edinburgh. On Sunday daytime, families will get hands-on exploring the science of space in our workshop and then creating their own creative dances through workshops with family-friendly ceilidh. On Saturday evening, we’re going to get down and physical with a full-blown proper ceilidh for the big kids with a mix of traditional and physics-themed dances touching on space, electrons & everything in-between!

Sat 27 Oct

2100 – 2230

OZONE

Sun 28 Oct

1630 -1800

Dance

STRATOSPHERE

 

LAB IN A BUBBLE

Join Lewis and Maria for an adventure in ultrafast, ultra-small science and learn more about plasma accelerators, a new kind of particle accelerator so tiny you can (almost) keep one in your pocket! These devices use the most intense lasers on the planet to make particles 'surf' on waves made of plasma. X-rays produced in the process can then be used to measure some of the fastest processes happening in nature. With demonstrations and hands-on activities, we will show you how this “lab in a bubble” works and what kind of wonders there are to observe on the shortest of timescales.

Sat 27 and Sun 28 October

Drop in activity

STRATOSPHERE

All ages

 

COLOURING IN THE PAST

Most of us have marvelled at the craftsmanship of Roman and Greek statues, but few of us can conceive how these plain stone statues may have looked in full colour. Recently completed work by the University of Glasgow and Historic Environment Scotland has combined technological advances in portable x-ray fluorescence and Raman spectroscopy to understand and re-imagine sculptures from the Antonine Wall - Rome’s most north-western frontier - with their original colours. The workshop will explore how the technology works and provide opportunities for participants to recreate their own colourful versions of the famous Antonine Wall Distance Stones.

Sat 27 Oct

11am – 12pm

1pm – 2pm

3pm – 4pm

BASE 1

Workshop

8+

 

 

THE WHOLE OF TIME IN 60 MINUTES

Is it possible to compress all of time into one show? How long is time anyway, is it really relative and is there even much time left?  Science presenter, explorer, TED talker and aspiring Time Lord Neil Monteiro attempts to explore the entirety of time in one hour in a show that really is a race against the clock.

Sat 27 Oct

1100 – 1200

1300 – 1400

1700 – 1800

                     

Sun 28  Oct

1100 – 1200

1300 – 1400

1600 – 1700

OZONE

8+

 

eXcitune

Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to defend Planet Earth with your voice! Shoot down attacking alien atoms and molecules using a tunable laser in this exciting computer game inspired by physics and chemistry. Each alien has a unique frequency and players must sing or whistle the correct one to stop the alien invasion! Challenge your friends and family with this fun and unique activity.

Sat 27 and Sun 28 October

Game

STRATOSPHERE

Age 5+

 

SNOWFLAKES IN THE MIRROR

Explore the beautiful forms created by simple two-mirror kaleidoscopes in this hands-on activity. Hear the story of Scottish inventor David Brewster’s creation of the first kaleidoscope and make and photograph your own unique image using a seed object.

Sun 28 Oct

Drop in activity

Age 8+

STRATOSPHERE

 

MAKE YOUR OWN PARABOLICS

Make your own fantastic set of bright and colourful juggling balls to take home using simple everyday materials. This fun interactive, drop in workshop will show you how while you explore the physics of juggling and the importance of the perfect balance between weight, gravity and the parabolic arc.

Sat 27 and Sun 28 October

Workshop

Age 8+ (under 8s can take part with adult help)

STRATOSPHERE

 

THE MACROPHOTON

How can you share a secret without revealing it to anyone? In a quantum word, tiny particles of light known as photons protect your secrets by allowing you to make a shared random number that is known only to you and one other person. This shared number can then be used to send a secret message that only the two of you can read. Come and learn how with the amazing Macrophoton!

Sat 27 and Sun 28 October

Drop in activity

STRATOSPHERE

Age 12+

 

TALKING ABOUT TIME: NEW LANGUAGE FOR NEW PHYSICS

Ever wondered what time actually is? We can’t see it, hear it, taste it or touch it – so what do we even mean when we say that Tuesday happens before Wednesday? Join us on a journey though the last hundred years of the physics of time, as we travel from Einstein’s breakthrough theory to the ideas proposed by contemporary physicists – is time linear, cyclical, or even granular? There will be a real-life scientist, a philosopher, and plenty of flashy props. (Lasts approximately 30 minutes, whatever that means…) 

Sat 27 Oct

1130 – 1200 

BIOSPHERE  

1600 – 1630

OZONE

Sun 28 Oct

1230 - 1300

1430 - 1500

OZONE

Talk

Age 14+

 

 

 

LOOK UP WITH SIMON WATT

Join Simon Watt as he explores the science behind space exploration. Which planet is hottest? Which would float in a swimming pool? Which is the most studied? And just how much space is in space? In this amazing live show you'll discover some incredible experiments you can recreate at home and learn more about what you can see if you only look up!

Sun 28 October

1300 – 1400

1530 -1630

Age 8+

Show

BIOSPHERE

 

AMAZING AEROSOLS!

Aerosol droplets are everywhere in our atmosphere and have a big influence on our health and environment. Every droplet is unique in their size, shape, what they are made of and the way they adapt to different environments. A single droplet can rapidly grow as they are inhaled into humid lungs or as they age in the atmosphere forming clouds. By studying the chemical and physical properties of aerosols and how they interact with light we can improve our understanding into how aerosols can be used to improve health and affect our environment in a positive way.

Sat 27 and Sun 28 October

Drop in activity

Age 8+ 

STRATOSPHERE

 

SMALL STORIES

Join our storyteller for a collection of tales for little ones and their grown-ups. Be prepared to sing, make sounds and have fun together as we learn all about the wonderful world around us. Explore why things fall down, what sound is, why things float and what makes a rainbow with these interactive making sessions in our cosy story tent.  Recommended for ages 2 -5.

Sat 27 and Sun 28 October

Storytelling

Ages 2 -5 (and their grown-ups)

STRATOSPHERE

 

MAKE YOUR OWN SUNDIAL

Craft your own historical sun-clock to take home in this fun making session with physicist and science communicator Neil Monteiro. Use templates to assemble your sundial whilst learning about how they worked and how for thousands of years people have used the sun to tell the time.

Sat 27 and Sun 28 Oct

1215 – 1245

1415 - 1445

BASE 1

Workshop

Age 6+

 

PROF FAY DOWKER: PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE: THE SCIENCE OF TIME

 

The question of the nature of time has been part of human intellectual exploration of our world throughout recorded history. Time both attracts and repels investigation: attracts because there is nothing more fundamental to our subjective experience than its temporality and repels because time is a notoriously difficult concept to pin down.  Professor Fay Dowker explains what our current best scientific theory about time, General Relativity, tells us about its nature - and what it can’t yet tell us about our human experience of it. The lecture will explore the history and future of time from Newtonian-model physics to quantum gravity, and the fascinating possibilities emerging from the world of cutting-edge theoretical  physics.

Prof Fay Dowker is Professor of Theoretical Physics at Imperial College London. Her doctorate in wormholes and quantum cosmology was supervised Stephen Hawking and she recently appeared as a guest on Radio 4’s The Life Scientific with Jim Al-Khalili.

Sat 27 Oct

1900 -2030

BIOSPHERE

Talk

Ages 12+

 

DIY SCIENCE ORCHESTRA

 

Come join the Science Ceilidh band and learn all about the science of music. By experimenting with a series of unlikely instruments and making your own take-home kazoos, we’ll explore the intriguing physics of sound before making beautiful music together as a scratch orchestra!

 

Sun 28 October

10.00 – 10.40

11.00 – 11.40

12.00 – 12.40

13.00 – 13.40

BASE 3

Workshop

Age 6+

 

MODERN TIMES

Join Radio 4 science comedian Helen Keen and the Institute of Physics for a very special screening of Chaplin’s 1936 classic comedy Modern Times, brought to you as part of the 2018 Festival of Physics. The film will be followed by a discussion and audience Q&A session on the theme of time – how we conceptualise and measure it, the relationships between human, industrial and deep time, and what the future holds for our understanding of spacetime.

 

Sat 27 Oct

1745 –  1915 (87 minutes)

Film

FILMHOUSE -

*PLEASE NOTE THIS IS AN EXTERNAL EVENT IN A DIFFERENT LOCATION*

BOOKING LINK: http://www.filmhousecinema.com/showing/modern-times

 

www.festivalofphysics.org

#festivalofphysics

Organised by: IOP and IOPS

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Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom, EH8 8AS
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18:00 26 Oct 2018 – 17:30 28 Oct 2018

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