Speakers and shows

We offer schools a wide range of talks and activities.

If you are interested in booking a talk or activity please contact Dr Siân Owen who will discuss dates and make arrangements with speakers. Speakers availability increases at the beginning and end of school terms. Independent schools and schools situated a significant distance from the university may be asked to contribute to the speakers' expenses.

Please see below for the range of activities we offer to schools.


The following lectures are available for schools:

Suitable for GCSE students


  • The Very First Light: Professor Pedro G. Ferreira

Atomic and Laser Physics

  • Atoms and Light: Professor Andrew Steane
  • Quantum Computing: Professor Andrew Steane

Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics

  • Surprises On Jupiter: Gigantic Collisions and Mysterious Missing Belts: Dr Leigh Fletcher
  • Exploring the Solar System With Robotic Spacecraft And Giant Telescopes: Dr Leigh Fletcher

Suitable for AS students


  • Telescope, Galaxies and Black Holes: Professor Roger Davies
  • The Very First Light: Professor Pedro G. Ferreira

Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics

  • Planetary Observations: Dr Pat Irwin
  • Planetary Meteorology and Climate: Professor Peter Read
  • Ozone Holes: Dr Don Grainger
  • Remote Sensing of Atmospheric Pollution: Dr Don Grainger
  • The Physics of Remote Sensing: Dr Don Grainger
  • Simulating, Detecting and Understanding Human-Induced Climate Change: Dr Myles Allen

Atomic and Laser Physics

  • The World's Most Powerful Lasers: Professor Justin Wark
  • Light Stronger than Atoms
  • Quantum Computing: Professor Andrew Steane
  • Atoms and Light: Professor Andrew Steane

Condensed Matter Physics

  • The Crystal World: Professor Mike Glazer
  • The Wonderful World of Lasers: Professor Robert Taylor
  • Relativity for Sixth Formers: Professor Robert Taylor
  • Exotic Materials and the Frontiers of Technology: Dr James Analytis

Particle and Nuclear Physics

  • The Most Amazing Things about the Universe: Dr Todd Huffman
  • Dark Matter in the Universe: Professor Hans Kraus
  • Everything You Wanted To Know About Quarks...But Were Afraid To Ask: Dr Tony Weidberg
  • Atom Smashers and the Invisible Universe: Dr Alan Barr

Theoretical Physics

  • Galaxies: Professor James Binney

Suitable for Key Stage 3

  • Rockets and Roller Coasters: Dr Sian Owen

Suitable for Key Stage 2

  • Rockets and Roller Coasters: Dr Sian Owen
  • Balloons and Blast-Off: Dr Sian Owen


Hands-on Physics Challenge - Year 9/Year 10



The Accelerate! show allows you to get up close and personal with the exciting world of particle and accelerator physics.

You’ll learn how particle accelerators can do everything from recreating conditions just after the Big Bang to finding new ways to treat cancer, as well as finding out how to drive the World's biggest machine—the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland.

Explosions, hair-raising experiences and objects which float in mid-air are just some of the things you’ll see in the Accelerate! show. Join scientists from the University of Oxford in this 45-minute show taking you on a guided tour of the science behind atom smashers. Enjoy exciting demonstrations with oodles of audience involvement—all whilst learning about some of the most exciting science of our time!
Suitable for ages 11- 18.

Einstein's Universe

Since 2005, Professor Brian Foster of Oxford University and Jack Liebeckhave collaborated on lectures highlighting Einstein's love of the violin and how his ideas have shaped our modern view of the Universe. The lectures and associated violin and piano recitals present Einstein's Universe in the context of the music he loved - Mozart, Bach and others.

There are two talks available:
"Superstrings" begins with a discussion of some of our modern ideas that build on the structures of Einstein and define the so-called "Standard Model" of particle physics. The problems of the "Standard Model" and the reasons why Superstrings may well lead to a much more satisfactory theory are then introduced.

"Einstein's Universe" is the companion lecture to "Superstrings", exploring the other main area of Einstein's scientific work, the theory of the behaviour of atoms and subatomic particles known as "quantum mechanics". The lecture outlines Einstein's Theory of Relativity and how the technological development of Switzerland may have influenced Einstein's work.

To see more information about the talks and upcoming dates, see http://www.einsteinsuniverse.com

Events at the Department

Please visit here to find out more about events at the Department.