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Record Attendance for Saturday Morning Physics Lectures

31 October 2008

On Saturday, October 25, Patrick Bruskiewich and Chris Waltham delivered lectures to a packed auditorium in which every seat was occupied by the 115 students and community members in attendance. The turnout signals an excellent beginning for the 2008-2009 Saturday Morning Lecture Series put on jointly by TRIUMF and the University of British Columbia.

This weekend’s lectures set a new record with the most people in attendance since the lecture series began in February 2004. Approximately half of those attending were high school students with the rest of the audience made up of teachers and the general public, demonstrating the broad appeal of the lectures and the community’s growing enthusiasm for science. In addition to the many local people, others travelled from as far as Surrey and North Vancouver to attend the lectures.

The lecture series, begun over four years ago, is the creation of Stan Yen from TRIUMF together with Chris Waltham, and Andrzej Kotlicki from the UBC Physics and Astronomy Department. The idea was inspired by the interest high school students displayed while taking tours of TRIUMF, and it developed as a way to help them learn more about modern physics.

The first installment of this year’s Saturday Morning Physics series featured two lectures: “Prelude to quantum Mechanics: Classical wave motion” by Patrick Bruskiewich and “Sound waves and the physics of music” by Chris Waltham. Stan Yen commented that the record-setting attendance reveals how “There is a lot of interest in science among youth, and among the public at large,” and he explained that “Labs and universities need to nourish that interest and keep working at finding ways to present [science] to them in comprehensible and interesting ways.”

The next set of lectures will be November 29 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. The first lecture, presented by Mark van Raamsdonk, will be “Failures of classical physics and the birth of quantum physics” while the second, by Kirk Madison, will be “Lasers and their applications”. You can find out more information about the lecture series, including how to register, here.



Kaitlan Huckabone
TRIUMF's Communications Assistant