Oxford Physics at the ATOM Festival

27 March 2018

The ATOM Festival of Science took place in Abingdon-on-Thames on March 10-18 2018. The festival, in its fifth year, celebrated Abingdon as the centre of science in Oxford and the Science Vale, including the Harwell Campus and Culham Science Centre.

The festival delivered diverse, imaginative and family-friendly events to allow local people to discover world-class science and technology taking place on their doorstep, as well as learning about the companies, organisations and scientists who make it happen.

Members of the Department shared their enthusiasm and knowledge with visitors throughout the festival. We had hands-on stalls at the Science Market at the start of the festival (10th March). Here Sam Henry talked to shoppers and visiting families about the wonders of particle physics. Thomas Parker and Matty Hoban also presented a series of exciting optics demonstrations on the Oxford Optics and Photonics Student Society (OxOPS) stall.

Chris Lintott and Frank Close explored the outer reaches of our understanding of space during an 'An Evening on the Final Frontier' for audiences on Friday (16th March) at Abingdon School. The Quantum Materials team invited shoppers into the Abingdon Community Shop (FreeSpace) to help make a crystal-themed instillation on Friday and the final Saturday (17th March). Kathryn Boast, the Quantum Materials Outreach Officer, then went on to close the festival with the Magnets Fantastic show at the Family Science Fair (18th March) to around 200 people.

ATOM was a community event that generated buzz and enthusiasm for science in the community and we hope to be part of the festival again next year.

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