IOP engages with the public at the Cally Festival near our future London home

21 June 2018

Making mobiles, exploring forces and talking on a tin-can telephone were some of the activities on offer when IOP engaged visitors to the Cally Festival on 17 June near our new London home in King’s Cross.

IOP engages with the public at the Cally Festival near our future London home

The festival happens annually in and around Caledonian Road, close to the site where IOP is rebuilding and refurbishing a property to move into later this year. IOP took part in the community festival for the fifth year running, meeting local residents as well as visitors from further afield and engaging them in science tricks and talking about physics and our new building.

IOP engages with the public at the Cally Festival near our future London home

As a premier sponsor of the festival, IOP sponsored the Brain Station and joined with partners from other science-based organisations to run a range of physics activities and an arts and crafts stall where visitors could make a particle physics-themed mobile to take home.

Our Public Programmes Manager, Toby Shannon, said: “Once again, it has been an absolute pleasure to be part of Cally Fest. It’s an incredible street festival that really brings the whole neighbourhood together and, as we look forward to later in this year and our move into our new building, it’s a great chance for us to show our commitment to getting to know our community and how we might be able to work together in the future.

IOP engages with the public at the Cally Festival near our future London home

“As part of the Brain Station, we worked together with our friends at the Royal Society of Biology, the Royal Astronomical Society and the Francis Crick Institute to bring some exciting science to the festival. This year IOP also offered an arts stall where people could engage with a whole range of hands-on physics experiments related to sound and forces.

IOP engages with the public at the Cally Festival near our future London home

“Visitors tried out our ‘Lenz’s Law batons’ – two identical copper tubes with a magnetic ball bearing placed in one and a non-magnetic ball bearing placed in the other. When you turn them over, you can see that the magnetic ball bearing falls much more slowly through its tube than the non-magnetic one does. It’s due to Lenz’s Law that, as the magnetic one falls, it generates an opposing magnetic field, which slows its acceleration, so it falls slower than the non-magnetic ball bearing.

IOP engages with the public at the Cally Festival near our future London home

“Using tricks like this that produce exciting phenomena, we can spark conversations about physics and get people thinking about the physics of the world around them.

“Over the course of the day, we met about 500 people and had some really great conversations about what our new building can offer the Cally Road community and ways in which people can get involved with the IOP. We already can’t wait for 2019.”



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