AtMol Outreach

AtMol students and staff are involved in a wide range of outreach activities, promoting both our research and physics in general to a wider audience. Here are some of the recent activities we have been involved in.

Getting Involved

We would recommend that anyone who was interested in doing outreach to schools, and other forms of public engagement, should join up to the STEM Ambassador scheme.

Celebrate Science 2011


The AtMol group was proud to present its work to the general public at the Celebrate Science festival. Durham University's annual festival of science outreach, held from the 25th-27th October, was seen by over 3500 people this year, all of whom got a chance to learn about temperature, laser cooling and atomic clocks on our stand "The coldest stuff in the universe - live!" As well as a real laser cooling apparatus, the public got their hands on a simpler version based on marbles and golf balls, and met a friendly penguin called Charles. We were a great success with children and their parents, and we got some wonderful feedback. Congratulations to all those involved in developing and presenting this activity: Kev, Matt, David H, David P, David S, James, Tom B, Anna, Arin, Tom, Hung-Wen, Chris V, Chris C, Dani, and Michael.

National Science and Engineering Week 2010

We have been awarded a grant by the Research Councils UK to run a project in National Science and Engineering Week. We will run a workshop called "Hard data on a Hot topic: Studying climate change with lasers". The workshop will be taken to sixth formers in 5 local schools over 5 days, and aims to introduce them to real research methods. It will also be a great oppurtunity for the students to have an informal chat about studying science at university with the researchers in our group.

Our website for this event is now LIVE! See it here.

Super Science and Marvellous Maths 2009

On the 11th June James, Jon and Tom took place in the "Super Science and Marvellous Maths" event, organised by NEPIC. They presented 20 minute workshops to KS2 pupils called "Talking with Light", and it was a great success! To the right is a picture of the children playing with tin can telephones.

Durham Science Festival 2009

Each year Durham University organises a science festival for children from local schools. This year, as last year, the AtMol group ran an activity on lasers and diffraction, using live demonstrations of Poisson's spot and the diffraction pattern from a human hair to illustrate the wave properties of light. Graham, Paul H, Jon, Tom, Anna, David C, Mark B and Matt all took part, presenting to 24 groups of up to 15 kids over the 3 days!