The Physics of the Circus Tyndall Schools Lecture 2018 at Institute of Technology Carlow


Tyndall Lecture at IT CarlowOver 350 secondary school students and teachers descended on Institute of Technology Carlow last week for the very first Tyndall Schools Lectures 2018, sponsored by the Institute of Physics in Ireland.

The annual lecture series is named after Carlow native and physicist John Tyndall, who is responsible for many of the technologies we take for granted today, such as fibre optics. His name is given to The Tyndall Effect in physics and he famously explained why the sky is blue [because molecules in the air scatter blue light from the sun more than they scatter red light]. The Tyndall Schools Lectures are designed to encourage young people to study physics in school and form the next generation of innovative thinking physicists.

This year’s lecture, entitled The Physics of the Circus, was delivered by James Soper, an internationally renowned science presenter, former professional circus performer and Guinness World Record holding juggler. The fast-paced and interactive show, designed for 14-16 year old students, featured spectacular juggling and balancing tricks to show how forces work. It saw James challenge the students in attendance to see the physics in their everyday hobbies and consider the physics that drives our modern world as their passport to a rewarding future career.

The event at Institute of Technology Carlow was organised by assistant registrar Dr. Yvonne Kavanagh, CPhys and introduced by Dr David Dowling, head of the Faculty of Science.

Speaking after the event, Dr. Yvonne Kavanagh commented, “I was delighted to see the participation of local schools in the Tyndall Lecture as physics  is an important topic for future generations.  It was a fun and informative lecture, presented in a lively and engaging manner”.

According to the Institute of Physics in Ireland (IOP), physics-based businesses contribute over €7bn the Irish Economy.