UBC Physics Circle

Are there giant ants in outer space? How is DNA crammed into the cell nucleus? How many Starbucks stores are there in Seattle? Can you extract information from a black hole?


Physics provides a powerful set of tools for understanding the world around us and answering remarkably diverse questions like the ones above. The UBC Physics Circle invites motivated high school students (grades 10–12) to join us as we build up this toolset, and apply it to everything from buying a cup of coffee to the deepest mysteries of the cosmos. Our main goal is to foster curiosity, creativity, and a sense of community.

Physics Circle consists of 2-hour sessions on Thursdays (from 5:15–7:15 PM), every 2–3 weeks. Physics Circle 2021/2022 meetings will begin on October 28 virtually. Term 2 (2022) format will be announced in late December or early January. We strongly encourage students underrepresented in STEM – girls, Indigenous youth, and those from underprivileged communities – to participate.

Please email physics.circle@phas.ubc.ca if you have any questions.


Features

  • Meetings start with lectures. Typically, a UBC physicist or astronomer will introduce their research, more advanced physics concepts, some applications of physics, or ideally all three (5:15–6:00).
  • After the lecture, students are let loose on an auxiliary discussion topic or problem set (6:00–7:15). This is an informal setting where students can explore, ask questions, and learn actively together. We commonly make explorations beyond the high school syllabus, but the technical scope is limited to suit most backgrounds.
  • Physics Circle volunteers facilitate discussions and provide guidance, as well as hold occasional problem-solving tutorials.

Topics and Resources of Current Cycle


Topics and Problems from Past Cycles

2020 – 2021

2019–2020

2018–2019

2017–2018

We are grateful to the past Physics Circle speakers.


Our Volunteers

Arnab Adhikary (program coordinator 2021–22), Pedram Amani, Morgan Arnold, Jocelyn Baker, Anneke den Breejen, Kara Deane, Amritabha Guha, Candice Ip, Diego Araujo Najera, Cindy Shaheen, Joshua Tindall, Luke Vance, Chris Waddell, David Wakeham, Ashley Warner, Rio Weil (program coordinator 2020–22), Alice Xiong (program coordinator 2020–22)

Past volunteers: Hailey Ahn, Connor Bevington, Philip Bement, Mariposa Casida, Sean Chen, Sean Ghaeli, Peter Gysbers, Andy Hsu, Daniel Korchinski, Pedram Laghaei, Tiffany Matthe, Marianne Moore, Ennio Moreau, Grace Zhang

Spherical cows may happen.