Taking our research from the lab into your life!

22 March 2021

This month we ran our annual Physics: Lab to Life event where we welcomed over 170 curious people to take a virtual tour of the Department. The online visitors uncovered how physics is changing our lives by exploring how we transform our cutting-edge research into ideas and technology that has a tangible impact.

Over 15 researchers told their stories about the work they do across a range of different areas, including next-generation solar cells, rapid-virus detection, weather prediction and quantum computers.

Professor Ian Shipsey, the Head of Physics at the University of Oxford, introduced the event underlining the importance of innovation in physics and then visitors could move between four virtual rooms to hear from different researchers.

The event has been run in the Department in previous years but the online event enabled people to join us from all over the world and 64% of participants had not previously attended another event hosted by the University of Oxford.

Participant feedback

Participants had the opportunity to ask lots of questions throughout the event and feedback was very positive, with 98% of participants saying they would recommend this event to someone they know.

Visitors were asked to describe the event in three words and the results are presented in the word cloud below.

word cloud.png

What did the visitors like best about the event? There were a range of different responses to this question when we asked participants after the event. Responses included:

'The breadth of topics being spoken about. The ability of the speakers to explain difficult and complicated research in a manner suitable for public consumption. Q&A capability connecting participants with the researchers.'

'Being able to hear about the many ways physics can be used, especially those that you wouldn't normally think of when you hear physics.'

'…seeing how different technologies are used and adapted to different situations, because this opened my eyes to the wide range of topics physics can apply to.'