Physics of the Circus

16 February 2018

The Institute of Physics (IOP) in Ireland’s Tyndall Lecture this year featured internationally renowned science presenter, ex-professional circus performer and Guinness World Record holding juggler, James Soper, who’s fast-paced and interactive show has been written for 14-16 year olds.

In the show James combined live physics demonstrations together with a multimedia presentation to challenge and inspire the audience to look at their passions and hobbies, showing them how the physics behind their hobbies is the same physics that drives our modern world, and unveiling what could be their passport to rewarding future career.

The highly entertaining lecture encompassed areas of physics from gravitation to magnetism using electric drills, spinning balls, unicyling,  juggling and much more.

The Tyndall Lectures are held throughout Ireland every January or February, and use demonstrations and interactivity to engage with schoolchildren and show how their class work relates to modern areas of physics research. It forms a significant part of IOP’s commitment to physics, education and engagement.

The lecture is named for the 19th century physicist John Tyndall who as well as researching areas of physics such as diamagnetism made a feature of developing techniques to bring science to a wide audience through public talks and demonstrations. He was born in Leighlinbridge Co. Carlow and appropriately this year’s tour kicked off in the Institute of Technology Carlow before moving to Waterford, Cork, Limerick, Sligo, Derry, Belfast, Dublin and finishing in Galway with around 2500 attending across all the venues.