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Physics: insight4me Physics – Fields: Examining Cutting Edge Research With The University of Sheffield & University of East Anglia

17th November 2021 @ 09:10 - 10:10



  • University of East Anglia: We will be joined by Dr Sebastian Haines, Lecturer in Physics at the School of Physics, presents Atom, phonons, photons and neutrons. Our world is facing serious energy challenges. In our fight to mitigate climate change, we need to revolutionise the technologies that enable us to generate, store and distribute energy. To tackle these challenges, we must synthesise and discover novel materials, and gain a deeper understanding of those materials in their solid state. We gain this understanding by measuring the positions of the atoms in a material and how they interact with each other. Physicists describe these interactions using quasiparticles like phonons – excitations of quantum fields. These properties of the materials of the future are characterised using ultra-intense X-ray and neutron scattering techniques, which are possible at large national and international research facilities. Join me to discover more about how these powerful tools will help us to answer the big questions in solid-state physics. 
  • The University of Sheffield: We will be joined by Dr Matthew Malek, senior lecturer at the department of Physics and Astronomy. His work centres around neutrino physics, astrophysics, dark matter and quantum rays. Matthew will explain how to grow a universe when you sow the quantum fields with the building blocks of nature. He will discuss the “quantum field theory” that describes the subatomic world, and he will talk about the unsolved puzzle of applying the laws of quantum physics to the gravitational field.

insight4me is a series of subject specific webinars for Year 12 & 13 students, and equivalent. The sessions directly support students’ current studies by giving an insight into particular curriculum areas whilst affording an understanding of how these subjects continue beyond A-levels, T-levels, IB, BTEC and equivalent qualifications and vary between universities.

In this insight4me Physics webinar for schools and colleges, two universities, The University of Sheffield & University of East Anglia, will each have roughly 30 minutes to deliver a punchy, topic based ‘micro’ talk. Within an overall session theme of Fields: Examining Cutting Edge Research, the universities have the freedom to choose their own focus and use the time to convey the key points of the case studies for the students.


Our events are designed so that a group of students can take part from a classroom or students and teachers can take part as individuals, either from school or from home. This means that sessions will continue irrespective of possible school closures.

As a live, participative event, this session will not be recorded but slides and other resources will be shared after the event, where available.


Suitable for: Year 12 & 13 students (and equivalent) studying, or with a possible interest in studying, Physics and related disciplines.

Preparation/Pre-Reading: Students may wish to consider the 2 topics and discuss some of the key elements in advance. Students can also think about questions they have about studying Physics at university level.

The IT Setup: The event will be run on Bluejeans and participants will be able to join using laptops, tablets, and mobile devices. If you are joining as a school group, we recommend connecting with one device and projecting on to a whiteboard. You will be able to interact with the university via a microphone and/or typed comments and questions. Full details will be sent to those who have registered (see below) prior to the event.

Booking a Place: This is free for schools and colleges. If you would like to take part in this event, please register your interest using the link to the registration form below:



17th November 2021
09:10 - 10:10
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