Importance of physics stressed to the UK’s politicians

6 June 2013 | Source: Physics: Transforming Lives

Physics research underpins the development of must-have technologies and creates multi-billion pound industries.

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While advances in cancer treatment save millions of lives so the digital revolution transforms many more.  

Physics: Transforming lives is a series of case studies being launched in Parliament today to highlight the impact advances in physics have had on all of our lives.

Prepared by the Institute of Physics (IOP) in partnership with the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the Science and Technology Facilities Council, the case studies highlight both ways in which physics has already transformed our lives and ways in which investment in physics is likely to deliver more in the coming decades.

Professor Paul Hardaker, Chief Executive at IOP, writes, “In the weeks leading up to the Government’s Spending Round, we are reminding politicians of the vital role physics, and more generally science and engineering, plays in helping us respond to major societal challenges, improving lives and driving our economy.”  

From satellites in space to optical fibres across ocean floors, not to mention the gigabytes of data in our pockets, the 11 case studies include potted histories and key facts and figures relating to broader themes.

The 11 case studies are on the space industry, liquid-crystal displays, plastic electronics, radio-frequency identification tags, optical fibres, cancer treatment, physics and DNA, energy efficiency, detecting explosives and pollutants, data storage, and satellite timing and navigation.

Looking to the future, the case studies highlight a range of exciting global market opportunities that the UK is well-positioned to make the most of.

Professor Hardaker continues, “Just to take one example, carbon-based electronics – expected to be worth $350bn in the global market by 2032 – is a burgeoning industry where the UK is currently leading the world.”

A full copy of the series of case studies can be found here: http://bit.ly/physicstransforming

Infographic on cancer and physics