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Oxford Physics Short Talks and Introductions

Short talks from University of Oxford Physics Department. Contains episodes previously published as:(1) 'Astrophysics: An Introduction'(2) 'Lab, Camera, Action!': "Lab, Camera, Action! is a series of short videos presented by Dr Andrew Steele about physics, explaining basic concepts, the work done here in Oxford, and even some experiments to try at home. These engaging tutorials cover a range of topics from spectroscopy, superconductivity and the transit of Venus in a clear, accessible way which will appeal to science enthusiasts everywhere."(3) 'Physics Flash Talks': 'A showcase of research at Oxford Physics through exciting 10 minute presentations delivered by graduate research students. The topics span the breadth of research at Oxford and include topics such as climate change, exoplanets, magnetism, the higgs and quantum computers.'

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Space - The Ultimate Laboratory

What can space teach us about the laws of physics? Space is huge and complicated. This is a challenge, but also gives us the ultimate physics lab. Francesca Day explores this further. Light from the beginning of the universe is hidden in the night sky. In space we can see physics at much higher energies and over much larger distances than we could ever manage on Earth. Space is also a great place to look for new particles – it produces and accelerates them for us and then drops them right on our heads. I will talk about how we can use space to discover new physics and new particles.

9mins

7 Jul 2014

Rank #1

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Lab, Camera, Action: Make your own CD spectrometer

How do we know what the stars are made of when we've never been to one? Dr Andrew Steele shows us how to make a spectrometer, a device used by scientists to analyse light, using a cereal box and a CD.

3mins

3 Feb 2014

Rank #2

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The Physics of the Violin

Jesse Liu, winner of the the departmental Speaking Competition for undergraduates, gives a short talk on the physics of a violin. The violin and elastic band are both string instruments. Yet what is it about the first that allows it to produce sounds many would regard as beautiful? I'll explore the physics behind music and the violin to illuminate this intersection of art and science.

11mins

13 Dec 2013

Rank #3

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The coldest place in the Universe

Tiffany Harte, Oxford Physics, discusses absolute zero temperatures and how by cooling atoms in a lab we can aim to replicate the coldest place in the Universe. I will be discussing how we cool atoms to create the coldest place in the Universe in the middle of a lab, and the fascinating states that emerge from these ultracold gases. We will look at cooling using lasers and evaporation, and see how the Highland Fling can explain giant quantum states.

12mins

13 Dec 2013

Rank #4

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Superconductivity -- alchemy for the 21st Century?

An exciting talk and demonstration about superconductivity and its potential practical applications by Ben Williams, Oxford Physics. Superconductivity is a weird property of some materials that has exciting applications both in the lab and outside, in new technologies. The only problem is, we don't quite know what makes superconductivity work! In this talk, you'll see superconductivity in action and find out how, just like modern-day alchemists, physicists are looking to turn the mundane into the magical!

13mins

12 Dec 2013

Rank #5

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Matter, Antimatter and The Mystery of Existence

In this talk Nazim Hussain, Oxford University, will provide an introduction to matter and antimatter and the interplay between them. As far as we can tell, our universe is filled with galaxies and planets (and people) all of which are made of matter. But, our universe could have been absolutely empty with nothing in it at all! In this talk, I will provide an introduction to matter and antimatter and the interplay between them. I shall also explain how the fact that we live in a universe filled with matter is one of the mysteries of modern physics, a puzzle that particle physicists are trying to resolve using the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the CERN laboratory.

10mins

12 Dec 2013

Rank #6

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How to find a Higgs boson

The discovery of the Higgs boson last summer is widely regarded as one of the most important scientific discoveries of our time. This talk will take you on a quick journey describing why we were searching for this elusive particle, and the experimental challenges involved in finding it.

11mins

4 Jun 2013

Rank #7

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What is a Quantum Computer?

How does a quantum computer work? Why is a quantum computer so much better than a traditional computer? This talk will give you an insight into the strange features of the quantum world that we can exploit to develop a super fast quantum computer.

13mins

4 Jun 2013

Rank #8

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Masters of Nature? - The physics of trying to control the climate

The Earth's climate is changing; but what are we doing about it? The frustration felt all around the world at the inability to agree a meaningful deal on global carbon dioxide emission leaves people looking for alternatives. Do we have the ability to manipulate our planet's climate to prevent the effects of global warming? If so how? What would be the consequences of attempting to do so? Understanding the physics of the Earth's climate is essential to answering these questions. Using the state-of-the-art computing power we are improving our knowledge of how the Earth works and of what any attempts to manipulate our climate would mean for the world we live in today...

12mins

4 Jun 2013

Rank #9

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Plants, Photosynthesis, and Solar Energy

The planet is in trouble; fossil fuels are being depleted and are contributing to global warming. Plants, however, have been directly harnessing solar energy for as long as they have existed. A flash talk from Tomas Leijtens.

13mins

7 Jul 2014

Rank #10