Institute of Physics events at Northern Ireland’s first Science Festival

17 February 2015

The beauty, mystery and power of light are fusing together in a series of Institute of Physics events during the Northern Ireland Science Festival.

NI Science Festival

2015 has been designated by UNESCO as the International Year of Light and this is reflected in the themes of many of the events from the Institute of Physics in Ireland (IOPI).



19 February, 12 noon, Belfast Metropolitan College –  Naming of Bell’s Theorem Crescent

19 February, 6.30pm, No Alibis Bookshop, Botanic Avenue Belfast – Renaissance Science

20 Feb-1 March, Ulster Museum – Incredible Power of Light Exhibition

21-22 February, Workshops Belfast Exposed Gallery, 23 Donegall Street, Belfast – Pinhole Camera and Solar Photography

24 February, 7pm, Ulster Museum – Higgs Boson and cancer therapy

27 February, 10am-2pm  Belfast Met – STEM in Action, female workshops

Opening the festival on Thursday 19th February at 12 noon, one of the world’s greatest scientists, Belfast-born John Bell, will be honoured at a street naming ceremony. ‘Bell’s Theorem Crescent’ will be unveiled by the Lord Mayor at Belfast Metropolitan College in the Titanic Quarter.  In the 1940s Bell attended Belfast’s Technical College which went on to become the Met. Bell explored at a very deep level the quantum nature of light and particle which paved the way for the modern revolution in quantum computing and communication.

Taking a step back in time, there is an evening of history, art and science at No Alibis Bookshop on 19th February when Alison Hackett, author and curator of The Visual Time Traveller, will give a visual journey through history, art and science since the Renaissance. She will be joined by Trinity College poet and physicist, Iggy McGovern giving readings from works exploring connections between poetry and science.

The Incredible Power of Light exhibition at the Ulster Museum from 20th February – 1st March explores lasers through animation, interactive exhibits, hardware and displays to tell the story of how lasers impact on our everyday lives. This exhibit from the Science Technologies and Facilities Council is also supported by IOP.

The beauty of the colours of light and solar observations are explored through photography workshops at Belfast Exposed Gallery on 21st and 22nd February.

Another son of Belfast, former Director of Accelerators at CERN, Professor Steve Myers will talk about our relationship as a civilisation with particle accelerators at an event in the Ulster Museum on 24th February. These sophisticated and often enormous machines provide us with insight into the dawn of the universe; however they are also in widespread use for the treatment of cancer, scientific research into the properties of materials and in security.

IOP Ireland’s Education and Outreach Adviser, Liz Conlon who is also the Festival’s Chairperson will be taking part in the STEM in Action Female Workshops at the Belfast Met on Friday 27th February.

Commenting on the Festival programme Dr Conlon noted: “as in any festival there would be art, music, poetry and comedy but all of these would be infused with science. Physics is at the core of science and is certainly at the heart of the festival.”

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