UCL Department of Physics and Astronomy


Past Lecturers and Comments

Past Lecturers include:

Professors: Sir Hermann Bondi FRS; Julia Goodfellow; Dame Julia Higgins FRS; Sir John Mason FRS; Sir Robert May FRS; Sir Roger Penrose FRS; Janet Thornton FRS; Bonnie Wallace; Maurice Wilkins FRS (Nobel Laureate)

Recent Lecturers

Dr Mike Porter (UCL Chemistry Department) giving a demonstration lecture on ‘chemistry through the looking glass’

Dr Stan Zochowski (UCL Physics and Astronomy) giving a lecture demonstration on magnetism. This sixth form student is cooling a piece of Terbium to liquid nitrogen temperature.


‘The first talk we attended entitled ‘chemistry through the looking glass’ (by Dr Mike Porter) was very informative and had several demonstrations to help understand mirror molecules. It was fascinating to find out that these molecules have different properties even though they have the same atoms in the molecule. These molecules exist naturally and can also be man made and each mirror molecule can have a different effect on the body. Thalidomide is one of these molecules where the left hand molecule causes deformities in babies and the right hand molecule relieves morning sickness.

The second was a discussion about ‘superstring theory’, (by Prof. Michael Green) and the current understanding of how the Universe is made up. Students again were intrigued to find out that there is a Planck distance and a Planck time, which appear to be the fundamental measures of distance and time.

We have brought between 30 and 40 students, mainly sixth form and have discussed the talks with enthusiasm and all of them have requested that we attend more talks which we intend to do.’

Lynn Peek, Chemistry teacher.
Southend High School for Boys, Southend-on-Sea, Essex.

‘How I wish we had had this opportunity so many years ago when I was thinking about University. Here I am now, having only just discovered the UCL Science Centre lectures, reorganising my life so as to fit them in.

Hugely instructive, great fun and with insights on the cutting edge of discovery, they have woken my son (who goes to Acland Burghley School) up to the delights of science and several contemporary acquaintances too. I was struck by the interest, the absorption, of the young people who had given up their time to attend. This was not a game or an entertainment, this was about their lives and where they wanted to be sometime in the not too distant future.

The lectures are always full to overflowing. The atmosphere is great. All we need now is the new year list of subjects.’

David Green, London