Year 13

Oxford Physics events: April - July 2018

Interested in space and physics? Have a look at the Oxford Physics events!

When: Wednesday 25th April 2018 (5.00pm-6.00pm, to be seated by 4:50pm)
Where: Martin Wood Lecture Theatre, Department of Physics
What: Public lecture organised by the Department of Physics

This lecture will highlight recent exoplanet discoveries and present an overview of on-going and future projects aiming for the detection and characterization of nearby habitable worlds.
Booking: Free, booking not required
More information: Please see our events page ( or the attached poster.

Quantum Materials Public Lecture 2018
When: Thursday 26th April 2018, 18:00
Where: Oxford Physics Department, Martin Wood Lecture Theatre
What: The inaugural Quantum Materials Public Lecture, given by Professor Andrew Boothroyd. Suitable for 16+. A drinks reception will follow the lecture.

Solid matter contains unimaginably large numbers of electrons which determine many of the material’s properties. Although lots of materials can be described by treating these electrons as independent, research has uncovered an increasing number of ‘quantum materials’ that display non-trivial and often spectacular phenomena, resulting from many electrons acting in unison. In this lecture, Professor Andrew Boothroyd will introduce the field of quantum materials and discuss two themes which are becoming increasingly important: ‘emergence’ and ‘topology’. He will draw upon recent work in Oxford, and describe how modern experimental techniques are making it possible to unpick complex ordered phases and identify exotic emergent particles.
Booking: Free, booking required
More information: A poster is also attached.

•         Nature’s Engines: Powering Life (Thu 17 May 2018)
•         Advanced Ultrasound Analysis Made Simple? (Thu 19 Jul 2018)
When: Dates listed above (7pm with refreshments served from 6:45pm)
Where: Oxford Physics Department
What: Series of talks with refreshments
The Institute of Physics and Oxford Physics invite a series of speakers from the Department and beyond to talk about cutting edge Physics.
Booking: Free, booking recommended
More information:

When: Saturday 9th June 2018 (10.30am -5.00pm)
Where: Oxford Physics Department
What: One-day conference organised by The St Cross Centre for the History and Philosophy of Physics (HAPP)

This conference will trace our understanding of space and time across the ages up to the latest knowledge of spacetime and the expanding Universe.
Booking: Free, booking required
More information:

Date posted: 

Saturday 14 April 2018


Do robots dream of saving lifes?

Credit: Hillary

Professor Tim Kelly from the department of Computer Science at the University of York will speak about self-driving cars, crew-less tankers, parcel delivery by drones, service robots for the elderly:  The robots are coming!

So save the date, 8th March at 6.30pm. For more information follow the link.

Date posted: 

Friday 2 March 2018


Durham University: Public lectures in early March

A love that moves the sun and all the other stars... If this strikes a chord with you, then the public lecture on Dante's Characters is definitely for you!

More interested in the Physics of everyday products? Durham University Open Lectures can cater for Scientists as well! See their website for more information.



Date posted: 

Friday 2 March 2018


Specimen papers for pre-interview admissions assessments

Note saying 'Register before you apply'

Your school will normally register you.

If you're applying to Cambridge this year then you may have a pre-interview admissions assessment at your school or test centre on 2 November - it depends what course you are applying for.

Information is available on the admissions assessment page, and specimen papers are available if you would like to practice.

Important: Don't forget to make sure that you're registered in time! The registration deadline was 1 October (at 17:00 UK time) if you're applying for Medicine or 15 October (at 18:00 UK time) if you're applying for another subject that requires a pre-interview assessment.

Date posted: 

Wednesday 4 October 2017


Word of the Day

dictionary word of the day

Credit: Alan Myers


There are a few online dictionaries that post a 'word of the day' to help broaden your vocabulary with less common words as well as suggesting some more familiar words whose meanings you might not be so sure on. You can even sign-up to have these emailed to you daily. and Merriam-Webster are just two of the websites that offer these free subscriptions.

And if you're studying a modern language you might want to sign-up for the French, Spanish, Italian or German word of the day. You can find even more languages here.


Date posted: 

Monday 18 September 2017


Going deeper into Mathematics

Lines and curves on an athletics track

Lines and curves.
Credit: See-Ming Lee

If you like (or dislike!) mathematics, what is it about the subject that makes you feel this way? What does studying mathematics at unviersity level involve, and how can you work out if you will enjoy it?

We advise students who are curious about maths (and subjects related to maths) to read the following explanation of rich mathematics:

If the kind of maths that makes you think and encourages you to go deeper inside the subject appeals to you, make sure you explore the NRICH Mathematics website:

  • Stage 5 material is for students in the last two years of school (normally aged 16-18).
  • Stage 4 material is for students in Year 10 and Year 11 (normally aged 14-16)
  • If you have a particular interest, you may also find the curriculum content section helpful
  • Or have a go at some of the live problems and see if you can get your solution published!

Date posted: 

Monday 19 June 2017


A good read?

Pile of booksImage credit: Pam loves pie

How do you make the reading you do in your own time count? One way to help yourself think independently and engage critically with your reading is to start or join a reading group. Take your inspiration from Radio 4's A Good Read, where the presenter and her two guests each choose a book they've enjoyed reading, introducing it to and discussing it with the others. Why not swap recommendations with a friend and meet to discuss your responses to each other's choice?

Date posted: 

Friday 16 June 2017


Hot air balloon problem

Hot air balloon

Credit: Brent Myers

A hot air balloon of mass 350 kg is carrying 5 people each of mass 70kg. The total volume of the baloon is 2800m3.

The balloon flies horizontally in dry air 1km above sea level. The atmopheric pressure at this altitude is 89.9kPa and the surrounding temperature is 9ºC. Given that the molar mass of dry air is 28.97g/mol, work out the temperature of the heated air inside the balloon. (You can take gas constant R=8.31J/mol K and you may assume that air behaves as an ideal gas).

General and problem-specific hints are available.

This is one of the problems on, a resource from Cambridge University Engineering Department with more than 200 problems to help you to practice problem solving skills relevant to Engineering. The website also provides general advice such as how to get onto a good Engineering course (whether at Cambridge or elsewhere).

Date posted: 

Monday 12 June 2017


STEP Mathematics resources


Credit: Electric-Eye

Cambridge University has a free online STEP Mathematics course designed for students preparing to take STEP papers (STEP exams are required if you are applying for Mathematics or Computer Science with Mathematics at King's).

The course has online modules for individual study, which are open to everyone.

STEP is very important because it helps you to make the transition from school maths to the kinds of matheamtical thinking that you will do at Cambridge. 

More about STEP.

Date posted: 

Tuesday 16 May 2017



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