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**COVID-19 CANCELLATIONS** In line with the Admission Office's guidance, we are not planning to run any large-scale in-person outreach events between now and 31 December 2020 and will instead be moving to an online, remote model instead.

materials science handson experiment

Physics at Work 2020

This year the Cavendish will host the 36th annual Physics at Work Exhibition online.

2020 dates: 21st  to 25th September

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, this year's Physics at Work will take place online.  Recordings of demonstrations will be hosted on this website and live Q&A sessions will be hosted on Isaac Physics.  Timings are yet to be confirmed, but please contact us with any questions.


Physics at Work

The primary aim of the exhibition is to stimulate interest and encourage wider participation in physics amongst 14-16 year olds by showcasing the many and varied ways in which physics is used in the everyday world. This event is open to all schools and is free (there is a £1 per student refundable deposit).

The exhibition is run in a similar way each year, based upon interaction between active scientific researchers and potential scientists. This will help to spread the excitement of modern physics research to students who will soon be making career and examination choices and is a vital component in encouraging the next generation of scientists.

The Physics at Work Exhibition runs over three days, with two sessions on each day. This event is centred around approximately 25 exhibitors and is held at the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge. Some of the exhibitors are from Research Groups within the Cavendish Laboratory and the others are from industry, including companies such as Rolls-Royce Plc., Domino Printing Services and The Technology Partnership.

Each half-day session typically has a capacity for about 450 students. The students are split into small groups of around 15 and are accompanied by a teacher as they follow a route defined by the organisers. Each small group, with its teacher, visits six exhibits over a period of about three hours, including a short break halfway through. Each exhibit usually consists of a short presentation, practical demonstrations, an opportunity for hands-on involvement and time for asking questions. A booklet of information is provided to support the exhibition, allowing teachers to bring ideas back into their lessons later in the year. This structured approach has developed over time and allows the students to engage thoroughly with the science on display.

The Physics at Work Exhibition is an integral part of the Cavendish Laboratory's Aspiration Raising activities, funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England.


Thanks to a generous legacy, we are able to offer support schools with regards to the cost of travel and lesson cover.

To ensure that this assistance is directed to meet greatest needs, we welcome applications from schools falling into the following two categories:

  1. Up to £300 for travel provided for schools that are in POLAR4 quintiles 1,2, or 3
  2. Up to £750 for any state school that organises a coach for their school + at least one other
  3. Lesson cover up to £300 for schools in quintiles 1 or 2 in the POLAR4 survey.

If you are unsure which quintile your school is in, the Office for Students has a tool for looking this up located here.  Please get in touch if you have any questions about these bursaries.