Light in flight at the Festival of Physics 2018

QuantIC was thrilled to present its “light in flight” research to the public at the IOP Festival of Physics last weekend at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh. The stand was part of Quantum City, the national public engagement strategy for the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme.

Festival of Physics 18

Visitors were able to get their picture taken at the speed of light and QuantIC’s new augmented reality exhibit demonstrated how a camera could see around corners or behind a wall. And for a number of researchers from the Hub, the event was also their first foray into public engagement. PhD student Jack Radford said, “It was my first public engagement event and I had a great day! I had some great in depth conversations about physics and quantum technologies with members of the public. I enjoyed trying to answer difficult physics questions in a simplistic way to get people excited about science! Their enthusiasm to understand complex physics certainly rubbed off on me and re-ignited my excitement about my own research. A lot of kids loved playing with our demonstrations, often getting hands on rearranging the equipment in Augmented Reality (AR) and doing the floss dance with our 3D imaging camera. Chiming in, PhD student Gabriella Mussara said, “By taking part, I got the chance to share my current topic of research with an audience from a completely different background.” Another public engagement first timer PhD student Lucrezia Cester added, “The Festival of Physics allowed me to share my work with kids, which I hope will be intrigued and inspired to follow a career in science.”

The public’s response to Quantum City was overwhelmingly positive, with almost 96% positive feedback received from visitors and lovely comments such as “very interesting technology” and “really interesting. I can see my son being inspired”. The Festival of Physics, which was organised by the Institute of Physics, attracted over 3,700 visitors over the two days.