Aspiring Physicists Enjoy Day at Imperial College
On Thursday 20th and Friday 21st June, Lower 5th and Lower 6th physicists visited Imperial College for the Physics Project Open Day where, following an introduction to university level Physics, the first-year undergraduates displayed the projects they have worked on this year.
Lower 5th pupils spent a day at Imperial on the Thursday, listening to a series of talks on the benefits of choosing Physics: it is a gateway subject for a wide range of careers, not just science-related; you can easily convert to other disciplines such as Law or Finance; and it can be applied to the real world. Pupils also learnt about specialisms in Physics, from string theory, theorising and exploring what the quarks in sub-atomic particles are made of, to environmental physics which involves looking at the atmosphere and climate change. A brief Q and A with university students followed the talks, giving the pupils an insight into studying at Imperial College.
After lunch, pupils were introduced to a range of projects that undergraduate students had been working on for four weeks, each one on a topic of their choice, from predicting the movement of a hurricane to assessing the number and size of planets and the distance between them in a distant solar system. The students explained their projects clearly and thoroughly to the Lower 5th pupils and happily answered any of the pupils' questions. A highlight of the trip was catching up with OS Chris Wilkin (CH, 2013-18), whose project involved the electronic filtering of signals from an electric guitar before amplifying the sound.
On the Friday, Lower 6th students enjoyed similar talks to the Lower 5th, but aimed at a higher level, and with a focus on the application process. Dr Mark Richards (aka DJ Kemist) gave an Introduction to Physics at Imperial, giving an insight into possible careers following a Physics degree, while Dr Stuart Mangles gave an interesting talk about smashing photons together to create particles. The Lower 6th students learnt about the structure of the Physics course at Imperial College and about the wide choice of modules on offer. Finally, the admissions tutor spoke to the students, pointing out that it was not just about the grades, it was also advisable to do some extra work beyond the curriculum in the form of wider reading or a project.
Both visits were enjoyable and informative, particularly for the Lower 5th, as this was their first university visit.