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. Contest and the Sir Isaac Newton contest.
  • To encourage and cultivate interest and enthusiasm in physics.

Through the third year of running this program, UBC students (many were themselves active in math and physics competitions while in high school), 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 (from 5-7 PM) and will be held on the UBC Campus.

Features of the program

  • UBC Physics professors will give lectures on advanced physics topics.
  • Participating students will be given challenging problems to solve; the students may tackle in groups, solo and/or with the assistance of
  • UBC Physics & Astronomy undergraduate volunteers.
  • Students will have access to UBC Physics laboratories (pending availability) and conduct experiments under the supervision of Physics professors and/or undergraduate students.
  • Pizza and refreshments will be provided at all sessions.
  • Ssessions may be longer than the standard 2 hours from time to time.

There is no cost for participation in the program. All interested students should contact Nasr Ashkan (nasr[at] Additionally, do not hesitate to email if you have any questions. We look forward to seeing you at the Metro Vancouver Physics Circle!

2014 Fall Session Schedule

October 29th **cancelled**
November 12th – Stan Yen, “Importance of fundamental research”
November 26th – Problem Set #1 Solutions

All sessions are on Wednesday from 5pm-7pm

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 UBC physics students, to solve these problems.

Since one of this year’s goals of the Circle is to familiarize students with the proper usage of standard physics lab equipment (e.g. multimeters, oscilloscopes, function generator), 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.