Physics Lectures: Einstein’s Revolutionary Ideas

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On Wednesday 2nd March 2016 Dr Peter Ford from the University of Bath and Dr Vincent Smith from the University of Bristol visited Kingsbury High School to deliver lectures surrounding areas of Physics.

Dr Ford’s area of expertise is Low Temperature Physics and Dr Smith has worked at CERN for more than 30 years.

The first lecture saw Dr Smith meet with Year 12 and 13 students to talk about Higgs boson. He explained how the Higgs boson was finally found at CERN and how this fantastic discovery has come to reinforce the Standard Model, which explains what the world is and what holds it together.

The second lecture was held after school and looked at some of Einstein’s more revolutionary ideas, in particular The Brownian motion, The Photo-electric Effect and Special Relativity.

Dr Ford opened the lecture and took the audience on a journey to the political, economic, social and scientific situation of 1897: the year Einstein was born.

This was continued by Dr Smith who, with clever touches of humour and clear demonstrations, explained Einstein’s revolutionary ideas of 1905.

Science Teacher at Kingsbury High, Maria Gonzales, organised the lectures and said “Dr Ford gave an excellent overview of the historical background required to fully understand the relevance of any revolutionary idea and Dr Smith’s enthusiasm captivated our students’ attention. His easy-to-answer, but relevant questions, maintained interest and encouraged our students to participate. Formulae for kinetic energy or how to link space and time were confidently shouted out. All this, while a beach ball, used to explain random motion, kept floating over our heads propelled by the joyful hands of the audience. It was very entertaining and a truly educational evening.”

The event was a huge success with more than 20 teachers and well over 100 enthusiastic students giving up their own time to attend. Members of the community were also in attendance.

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