Metro Vancouver Physics Circle

The Physics Circle is an outreach program designed to cater to motivated and advanced high school students in Physics. The intention is threefold:

  • To expose students to more advanced physics than they may receive in a standard high school setting.
  • To prepare students for physics contests such as the C.A.P. Prize Exam and the Sir Isaac Newton Exam.
  • To encourage and cultivate interest and enthusiasm in physics.

Since its inception in 2011, UBC students, along with the support of their professors, strive to provide a greater breadth of opportunities for high school students to enhance their experience with university-level physics.

The Circle will consist of 2 hour sessions on Thursdays (from 5:00-7:00 PM) and will be held on the UBC Vancouver Campus.

Features of the program

  • UBC Physics professors will give lectures on advanced physics topics, including sharing some of their research.
  • Participating students will be given challenging problems to solve; the students may tackle in groups, solo and/or with the assistance of volunteers.
  • Students may have the opportunity to access UBC Physics laboratories (pending availability) and conduct experiments under the supervision of Physics professors and volunteers, on topics relevant to the session.
  • Pizza and refreshments will be provided at all sessions for every participant to enjoy.
  • Sessions may be longer than the standard 2 hours from time to time.

A small fee ($10) is collceted at the first session to cover the cost of running the sessions and offering pizzas for students and volunteers. All interested students should contact Pedram Laghaei (pedram.laghaei@ubc.ca).  Additionally, do not hesitate to email if you have any questions.  We look forward to seeing you at the Metro Vancouver Physics Circle!

2018 Session Schedule

March 1, 2018 Speaker TBA

March 15, 2018 Speaker TBA

Previous Years

One problem set with solutions is available from Physics Circle 2014-2015.

Outline of the Circle

The sessions will usually be started with a lecture given by a UBC physics professor and will usually be about his/her research or an area of interest.  Students will then be served pizza and refreshments following the lecture and will be handed out the challenge physics problem set to think about and discuss with others.  Once the refreshment period is over, the problems on the problem set will be briefly introduced and hints will be provided.  Students are then free to use this information and work with their peers, along with the help of available volunteers, to solve these problems.

Since one of the goals of the Circle is to familiarize students with the proper usage of standard physics lab equipment (e.g. multimeters, oscilloscopes, function generators), we aim to organize lab sessions, possibly before, but likely after the problem solving sessions, to provide students with experience in circuit-based physics labs.