Past activities

Know How Now
Buses across the UK have played host to our eye-catching posters. Designed to get young people talking about how we know these intriguing facts, the posters are supported by information on the website.

Thank Physics
Beer mats in Brighton and Hove pubs have been sparking discussions about physics and technology as part of a campaign which also made use of online advertising and social media. 

Pub goers tested their knowledge of internet, GPS, MP3 and smartphone technology by scanning QR codes or sending text messages.  

Food Physics
Residents of Norwich, Gateshead, South Shields and London have been discussing how lipstick affects their beer, whether they can fold a piece of paper more than seven times and how to make a proper cuppa thanks to our thought-provoking beer mats and sandwich bags.

The WI
The Physics in Society team have been working with the WI to develop physics activities that WI members can get involved with. 

The physics activity pack includes a range of activities that can be done during WI meetings.

SciCast Physics
SciCast Physics is a mini-science-movie-making competition. The challenge is to produce a film of less than two and a half minutes that explains a principle of physics in an entertaining way to non-scientists.

An evaluation is available on request from

Spooky Science
Step into our haunted house and discover the physics behind the ghostly goings on. Created in partnership with Butlins, the Spooky Science show was part of the entertainment programme at all three of the company’s holiday resorts throughout 2009 and 2010.

Potential Energy
Three talented writers were commissioned to explore the issues surrounding nuclear new-build in the UK. The debate lasted 10 weeks as the writers got to grips with the complex arguments surrounding the subject, posting their experiences as part of the Potential Energy blog. Visitors to the site added their comments in response to the posts and although the project is now closed you can still visit the site to read all the entries.

Camp Energy
For the duration of the Cheltenham Science Festival (June 2006) four intrepid physics students pitted their wits against the environment in a bid to live using solely the energy that they have generated themselves through sustainable means. Michelle Cain, Anthea Cain, Andrea Taroni and Tom Whyntie took on a different energy based challenge each day in order to highlight how physics can reduce their carbon footprints – a measure of their impact on the environment.

Green Man Festival
In August 2006 at the Green Man folk festival, Brecon, mid-Wales, punters not only had the chance to listen to guitars but also to find out how they work from Dr Mark Lewney’s talk ‘Rock Guitar in 11 Dimensions: Strats, Strads and Superstrings’. The talk was one of many activities that we bought to the festival – other activities included ‘physics busking’ where the festival goers got a chance to perform their own physics experiments using things that you would usually find at home.

Einstein Year
In 1905 Albert Einstein changed physics and the way we understand our world. One hundred years on, Einstein Year celebrated the excitement and diversity of contemporary physics. During 2005 more than half a million people took part in over 500 events and explored what physics meant to them.

Einstein Year was evaluated (PDF, 2 MB) by the Institute of Education. 

One of the aims of Einstein Year was to generate widespread media coverage so as to reach a much greater audience than is possible through physical events alone. Einstein Year generated over 600 pieces of coverage including articles in Boys Toys, Toxic, the Guardian and the Telegraph and mentions on Radio 4, Newsnight and Blue Peter.

Other IOP websites

Your guide to physics on the web

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