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Webcasting physics

dark matter.jpg
Teachers discuss dark matter at the Institute

We all know the stereotype of a physics lecture – a bearded befuddlement of equations and geeks.

Today the Institute of Physics has been doing its bit to blow this image out of the water by webcasting lectures given by two eminent physicists at the Institute’s headquarters in London.

First up was Damian Pope – of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Canada – discussing the latest findings and debates in the world of dark matter. Then Richard B Jackman of University College London talked about nanoscience and its potential applications across fields from healthcare to aerospace to jewellery-making. He also addressed some of the fears of nanotech purported by the mainstream media.

If you missed the webcasts then don’t fret – they can still be accessed from this link.

I spoke with Joe Winters, senior press officer at the Institute, which publishes Physics World. He told me that both speakers had been carefully selected; Damian Pope has a long history of public engagement projects and Jackman is a highly regarded interdisciplinary researcher.

The lectures themselves were attended by teachers of A Level physics classes, which, typically comprise 16-18 year olds. “Many of the teachers present are the only physics teachers in their school and days like this give them an opportunity to meet physics counterparts from other schools,” said Winters.

“Through webcasting the talk, we hope that we can help physics teachers from all over the UK and not just those in London,” he added.

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