APS News

Queen Mary's Physicists of the Year

Two APS Physics students have been awarded the Queen Mary's University Physicist of the Year award.  Queen Mary University run this award to allow different schools across London to reward a GCSE student for their contribution and aptitude for physics.  Kelly Fitzgerald, year 12 and Liliana Newsam-Smith, year 10, attended an awards evening at Queen Mary University last week, which consisted of a lecture and several demonstrations.  Here are the reasons why Kelly and Liliana were nominated.

Kelly was nominated for her consistently impressive physics exam results and her enthusiasm for the primary school science club, where she planned and lead science club sessions at a local primary school.  Liliana was nominated for her impressive physics exam results and for her enthusiasm for the Highgate masterclasses.

Congratulations to both students.


Physics in Action day

23 Year 12 Physics students attended a Physics in Action Day at UCL.  This day consisted of a series of talks from experts in their field of research.  Our students heard from the science writer and broadcaster Simon Singh talking about the Big Bang, Andrew Steel from Cancer Research demonstrating the fascinating world of superconductivity, Lewis Darnel explaining how we could rebuild our world from scratch after an apocalypse.  After a short session on revision strategies and exam technique, Jen Gupta delivered a fascinating talk on the invisible universe and the final talk of the day was given by the wonderful Dr. Mark Lewney, who used the power of heavy metal rock music to explain the weird and wonderful world of string theory.  The students had a fantastic time and here are a selection of photographs and comments from our students.

The day was jam packed with a fantastic selection of talks on a variety of interesting topics. I found each speaker to be engaging and informative in their own right, delivering wonderful, cohesive explanations on equally thrilling subjects - rarely failing to elaborate on a particularly intriguing aspect of their talk.Tomasz  Mistela
The day held a range of interesting and intellectually extending talks about fields of physics that appear to be the solutions to the problems of the present and future. It provided an insight into the careers available to us as young physicists and has inspired me among many others to further research and pursue cutting edge areas of physics.George Burgess
The talks were very interesting and inspiring, they gave us better insight into physics beyond our textbooks.”Maya Vahidi & Mehmet  Avcil
I really enjoyed the trip and especially the talk about superconductors. I liked finding out how the maglev trains worked.Ava Mitchell
This was a very interesting trip to UCL. The man at the end was completely insane and that was pretty sweet!James Finn

Year 12 masterclass at Highgate

Five year 12 physics students have been selected to take part in National Space Academy at Highgate School.  Maya Vahidi, Khaled Saker, Philip Ilono, Raphaella Ridley and Alex Karayinnis took part in a series of workshops covering a range of space topics from 'The Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence' through to 'How to Become an Astronaut!'  Here are a selection of comments from our students.

During our day at Highgate School we took part in a series of workshops and lessons which were all astronomy-based. My favourite thing that we learned about was how satellites and rockets were adapted to be able to re-enter our atmosphere. As well as this, we got to engage with other pupils with similar interests and overall, provided for an amazing day.Raphaella Ridley
At first, we were allowed to explore the room as there were pieces of meteorites and a fragment of the moon located around the room with small descriptions of how they got to the Earth and what they are. We then given a quiz about the outcome of certain physics scenarios and experiments in the space station. After that, there was a talk and video demonstrations about how astronauts live in space. To finish off, we made paper rockets that were launched into the air.
It was enjoyable because I learnt about how dangerous space could be and that it is very life threatening to go up into space and come back down. Launching the rockets was also good as they travelled very quickly and high in the air.  Thank you for a great opportunity.Philip Ilono

Ogden Symposium

Early in this academic year 2 of our y13s were selected to attend the prestigious Ogden Symposium, this year hosted by the university of Durham. A2 physics students from all over the country were given a flavour of undergraduate life and an introduction to university physics.

Some quotes from out students that attended:

I feel that the symposium was a great opportunity to explore life as an undergraduate physics student at a top university. I sat in high quality lectures, learning about the complex rules of special relativity and how calculate the increase in the mass of an object approaching the speed of light. It was also fascinating attending lectures on relatively new ideas in physics. The finding of the Higgs Boson, how CERN works and theories surrounding dark matter and dark energy.

It was also a great opportunity to visit a beautiful city, gain an insight into what university life is like and meet and discuss physics with like-minded young scientists.

Stephen Mason
The talks where very interesting including thinking like a physicist, Things with lasers like supper cooling through optical molasses, some quantum theory, special relativity along with my personal favourite the dark energy and dark matter surrounding us along with a handful of questions for each.

Not only was it detailed plus insightful along with it being well explained. It also gave me a very nice chance to fill in some of the questions I had about university’s and giving me more reasons to go to university as well as giving me concentration for Durham as from what I saw the facility’s on sight where very nice and well maintained with everyone there being a pleasure to meet. 

It was also nice change to go outside London and see the less crowded parts of the UK with its greenery along with the fact that still had a lot of its history like the cathedral, cobbled roads and old houses. I would like to say thank you to the Ogden Trust an​d Durham university.

Brian Morris