Work experience

Last week the School of Mathematics and Physics hosted a work experience student, Konrad, from Grantham College.

The aim of the week was to give a taste of what it will be like to study Physics at the University of Lincoln (he is starting his degree with us later in 2022), and for Konrad to gain some experience related to working in a university. This involved testing laboratory equipment, assisting our technical staff to support the delivery of undergraduate laboratory classes, and helping lecturers plan and develop activities for open days.

This is an electron microscope image, taken by Konrad, of one edge of the letter ‘N’ on a one pence coin. We weren’t sure what the white lump about 20 microns wide was!

Konrad enjoyed attending lectures in Physics, even though the level was beyond what he is used to at college:

“There are so many exciting and interesting things to do throughout the entirety of the course, and while the maths is definitely difficult, each and every aspect is being taught incredibly well.”

We were very happy to have Konrad spend the week with us, and we look forward to seeing him again in a few months time!

“This week has far exceeded my expectations. I strongly recommend not only the university itself, but also work experience for anyone who is going to be starting a course here. I very much look forward to coming back to start my studies in September!”

If you are interested in visiting us, please see our list of scheduled open days, or contact Dr Matt Booth at We also are happy to host larger groups for masterclasses or campus tours.

Gravitation Congregation

This year Dr Fabien Paillusson and Dr Matt Booth are running an extra-curricular general relativity study group with undergraduate students. The group, named the ‘gravitation congregation’ are working through Thomas Moore’s book ‘A General Relativity Workbook’.

So far, the group have mostly reviewed special relativity but will soon be moving onto such topics as four-vectors, tensor equations, geodesics and the Schwarzschild metric.

Meet The Physicist Event

Lincoln Astrophysics Team

A fun , relaxed and informative event for A-level and GSCE students to promote the pursuit of the study of Physics!

About this event

I believe it’s important for people to realise that pursuing the study of Physics, and going on to centre your career on it, isn’t just one straight path. It’s one with options to change direction, there’s a whole multitude of things you can do with Physics.

I didn’t realise that until University. I just kept doing Physics because I loved to do it, I had no idea of how much I could do with it until much later on! So, I’ve organised this session for precisely that purpose and to also get people inspired.

Manuela is a lecturer at the University of Lincoln and is an expert in some of the computer simulation techniques in condensed matter physics. She has a PhD from King’s College London…

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Maths and Physics summer school

In July the School of Mathematics and Physics held our first Summer School for students thinking about studying Mathematics or Physics at university.

The event was held over two days and featured workshop talks by 10 of our academic staff as well as interviews with some of our students past and present.

A wide variety of topics were covered, including particle physics, astrophysics, chaos theory, fractals, group theory and much more!

All talks and interviews were streamed live to the College of Science Youtube channel and are still available to be watched here: Day 1 and Day 2.

If you are interested in hearing about similar future events please contact Matt Booth (

First Physics alumni event

On 5th of December 2018 we had our first ever Physics Alumni Event in The Cardinal’s Hat. The event consisted of a short lecture by Dr Phil Sutton entitled “Exotic New Worlds”, which looked at some recently discovered exoplanets, and was followed by an extensive discussion and networking with our physics graduates as well current MPhys students.

Planets, stars, and music of glass

Today the University of Lincoln hosted the Lincoln Get Hold of Technology & Science (LiGHTS) festival. Our school presented two exciting activities. Our own astrophysicists, Dr Phil Sutton, told to old and young about recent news from the world of planets and stars. The most young listeners asked the most difficult questions, like what is the shape of two very close stars.

Another activity was about the music of glasses, inspired by the work of famous natural philosopher Edward Delaval, FRS, once the owner of the Doddington hall next to Lincoln. This is a joint project between our experimental physicists Dr Matt Booth and Dr Martin Scheuregger, a lecturer in the School of Fine & Performing Arts at the University of Lincoln.

Industrial and Econo-physics

Physics students in their second year at Lincoln gave fantastic feedback regarding the Industrial and Econophysics module. This module is intended to showcase some of the industrial applications of physics, with a focus on the finance sector towards the end of the module.

A series of guest lectures were given by local industrialists from a range of industries in which physics is a primary tool. Our local industrial partners include Micrometric Ltd, Teledyne e2v (UK) Ltd and the Radiotherapy Physics department at Lincoln County Hospital. In addition to the guest lectures, students were given the opportunity to visit the relevant industrial sites around the city of Lincoln.


Students visit Micrometric Ltd – a local SME with expertise in laser manufacturing.

Students were also given a case study assignment about Diamond Light Source synchrotron facility which they had visited the previous year. The students prepared a professional-quality poster on the subject matter from one of the guest lectures, and presented their work to their peers as well as to staff from the School of Mathematics and Physics.



Prize for the winner of the 2016/17 Physics Challenge

The School of Mathematics and Physics are delighted to present Mason Parker with a £100 Amazon voucher as his prize for winning the School’s annual Physics Challenge. A deserving winner, Mason calculated how long it would take the Brayford Pool to freeze over, derived the equations of motion of a chaotic pendulum, discussed the physics of stained glass windows and performed an experiment to investigate an ancient time-keeping method!


Head of School Prof Andrei Zvelindovsky presents Mason with his certificate.

The chairman of the competition committee Dr Matthew Booth was very impressed with Mason’s entry, commenting that the submission would receive a first class award if it were a first year undergraduate assignment.

Mason is an A level student from New College in Pontefract, Yorkshire. He studies maths, further maths and chemistry alongside physics. The award ceremony was performed before the School’s first annual Robert Grosseteste Lecture in Cosmology, given by Prof. Peter Coles from Cardiff University on the 27th February 2017.

Students visit Diamond Light Source

On Thursday 19th January 2017 our first year students visited Diamond Light Source. Diamond, in Didcot, Oxfordshire, is the UK’s national synchrotron facility. Since it was completed in 2007 the facility has contributed to over 5,000 scientific publications in fields ranging from physics to archaeology and biology. In recent years the facility has been extended in its capacity from 22 to 32 beamlines in an attempt to meet the rapidly increasing demand for high energy X-ray spectroscopy and microscopy techniques in academia and industry.


After being given a lecture by David Price about the history of the facility as well as its current operation and applications, our students were given a tour. This was a great chance to get an up-close look at the various stages of the synchrotron generation process: the storage ring, the magnets used to focus and steer the electron beam, and the ‘wigglers’ that cause the accelerating electrons to emit synchrotron radiation.


This was a fantastic opportunity for our students to visit a national facility and to learn about the huge range of applications that such techniques, originally developed for physics, now have throughout science and industry.

Physics Challenge


Have a go at our 2017 Physics Challenge to be in with a chance of winning £100 in Amazon vouchers. Good luck!

Maths & Physics News

For a chance to win the first prize (£100 Amazon voucher), or one of our prizes for runners-up, submit your typed or neatly written solutions of the following problems by post to Physics Challenge, School of Mathematics and Physics, University of Lincoln, Lincoln, LN6 7TS. Please include your full name, postal address and email, as well as the name and address of your school. The closing date is 5 January, 2017. The competition is open to all young pre-university people in UK aged 16–18 years. It is not open to current university students. See full Terms and Conditions.

1. A log of radius R rolls towards a frog with speed v. What is the minimum upwards velocity u with which the frog has to jump in order to jump over the log? How close can the log get before the frog must begin to jump?


2. The…

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