July 15, 2024

14th season of School of Young Physicists


We have led another successful semester of School for Young Physicist sessions. This year came with a challenge at times since we have seen an influx of students this year, but this is a challenge that we welcome as long as more people who are interested in physics have the opportunity to study it outside of the classroom. This semester has also come with another good surprise. In all but one of the sessions we had an international guest or someone who works somewhere else than Latvia. Expanding the horizons of our students is one of our goals, so that they see more of what happens not only locally but also internationally. Two of such sessions were about physics is medicine and electromagnetism.

              In the former there was a more general lecture on some uses of physics in hospitals. For example, how ultrasound works and is used for imaging for medical complications, as well as the working principles of an electro cardiogram. The guest of this session Ingolf Sack, PhD went more in depth of what can be achieved with ultrasound and related technologies. For the practical part of the session one of our students developed a to experience one of the quantum computing cryptographic methods.

              In the latter we dwelled deep into what is electromagnetic radiation. The process through which electromagnetic waves are produced was explained. The uses of many sections of the electro magnetic spectrum was looked into and talked about. The guest was prof. Ingolf Sack with whom we had a Q&A session about his work with the use of induction in many industrial processes.

School of Young Physicists Carrier day


In the beginning of the spring semester, we experimented with a new kind of event for us instead of the usual sessions we deliver. We wanted to expand the view of our students about the job market and options that people that study STEM fields after high school. We tried and succeeded in creating interesting activities that are more engaging than the usual lectures.

Par the of the day of the event was taken up by two activities: an inverse job interview and a quiz. For the inverse job interview we turned around the job interviews that we all must go through. Two of the invited guests from local businesses were interviewed by the students with the general idea of “why should I work for you?”  which gave a more approachable way for the students to find out how it is for people after finishing their education in the Stem fields when looking for a job. In the quiz we formulated the questions so that the guest must take their best guest on not what the correct answer is, but which answer the students think is the correct one. This sparked a conversation between the guests and the students with every question.

              The attending students enjoyed the event, and we plan on hosting such an event again in the future to help students learn of the opportunities that are available to people who study the STEM fields.

January 14, 2024

Ballistics and parallax


We have successfully ended another semester of School of Young Physicists. The last two of last semester's sessions were about ballistics and astronomy. In the former we explored how trajectories of long range projectiles are calculated and how the Coriolis effect is taken into the equation to achieve accurate results. For the practical part our team set up strings from the 7th floor to the 5th floor so that the students could drop a clay ball at a target from a release mechanism that slides along the string, for which they needed to calculate the release time. For the more in depth lecture we had a guest from the Latvian armed forces drone division.

The final session in the last semester was about astronomy. In the popular science lecture we got a chance to learn about extreme objects in space and many methods that are used to calculate distances in the outreaches of space. For the practical task we dived into parallax. We used the parallax method to first calculate how far an object is from a phone on the table, and then we sent the students outside to calculate distance to far away buildings. In the in-depth lecture, we discussed black holes and relativity.

Both of these sessions were met with great reviews and it could be seen that the students had fun during both the lectures and practical task. This season has been a great success, and records have been broken, we are looking forward to the new year.

Season 14 of school of young physicists


We have started the 14th season of School of Young Physicists with flying colours.

At the start of the Autumn semester, we were invited to appear in a national TV morning show, where we had the opportunity to talk about what we do in our monthly sessions. Even before that we had set a new record for attendance with more than 350 students coming to session in September. With every month the amount of ambitious high schoolers and middle schoolers, that we had the chance to educate about numerous concepts in physics, has grown. In September when the topic for the session was nuclear physics, we decided to do something new, since it is hard to touch single atoms. Thus we created a debating competition, where the students could compete in debates on whether nuclear power should or should not be used in our own country. The pro and against argument was assigned randomly. This was surprisingly well received among the students and can be called a definite success.

Our team is happy that the number of students coming in search of knowledge outside of the school program is increasing with hopes that it will increase further.

July 14, 2023

Conclusion of season 13!


The thirteenth season of School of new physicists is over. This has been a long year, a lot has been done, accomplished, worked on. Lets take a look a the most memorable moments.

We have had sessions on engineering physics, culinary physics, optics, quantum physics and chaos.

In the engineering physics session, we learned how we evaluate material properties, and how they are used to construct stable, earthquake proof structures. In the lab work, we had a competition for building the most earthquake proof tower. It was a lot of fun seeing the towers crumble under the pressure.

In culinary physics we looked at how ice crystal size effect ice cream consistency and taste. The microwave was put to test, we learned how it works. In the practical part, we measured how the foam in carbonated drinks decreases in time.

In optics we learned about how to take the best photography, what are the apertures and all the other numbers and letters on your camera. After that, we built our own spectroscopes, and analyzed different light sources.

After that, some quantum physics was necessary, we started from the basics, with the historical development. Then, something new was needed, we learned about what are quantum games, how they are used to analyse simple systems and how to explain the CHSH game.

In the end, we finished chaotically – with chaos. We looked at weather forecasts, and why they tend to be so inaccurate and ended with Romeo and Juliet, and their chaotic love story.

It was great to be together with you all, see you next year.

Activities of the season


This has been one of our best years in recent history. Our attendance has increased, a high of the last few years, reaching more than 350 unique students of our school, not counting people reached at different festivals.

We participated in many different activities. Not only our usual session at our home – The House of sciences, but also went to other cities, and participated in festivals, reaching an audience otherwise unreachable.

All year long, our students competed in our competition – the best test taker. Each session, they had to take a short test of 10 questions about the lectures given. Usually, we give out small prizes for the best test takers, however, this year, we had a much larger prize. We have been working with CERN, and in collaboration with them, two of the best test takers, one girl and one boy, were able to take an all expenses paid trip to the CERN accelerator complex. Two students from the tenth grade were the best, beating all the other, both younger and older highschoolers. And at the start of July, they went on a three-day trip to the accelerator complex, visiting the Latvian scientists working there and enjoying the fruits of their labor. They visited the CMS or compact muon solenoid detector and also the anti-matter factory. Finishing on the anniversary lecture of the discovery of the Higgs boson.

A lot has been accomplished this year, but we are looking forward to the next season, more physics is coming. See you all next year.

January 14, 2023

School of Young Physicists partners with CERN


This year has brought us many new things. One of the most interesting one is our collaboration with the European Organization for Nuclear research, otherwise known as CERN. A surprising, but a welcome guest to our community.

In recent years, Latvia has become a member country of CERN. This brings new opportunities to all Latvian students, especially doctorate students. We have partnered with the Latvian team at CERN on popularizing physics and showcasing the opportunities we have at CERN.

As a part of our collaboration, in September we had a session on particle physics, where we talked about all things CERN. As we have partnered with CERN, we had a live virtual tour of CERN laboratories, accompanied by the Latvian scientists working there. Two scientists working there, virtually joined us here in Latvia, while walking in the CERN campus through the labs. A few other of the Latvian scientists working in CERN joined us also here, for a questions and answers session, where the students were able to ask all questions of interest about how it is to work there, what do you need to do to get there, and especially, something of interest for all of us, how much are they getting paid and many, many other questions. Our partnership brings many opportunities to our students. Throughout the year, we will give out tests, and the best performing girl and boy will get a prize. It will be an all paid two-day trip to CERN. They will be accompanied by one of our members and will be able to see what the scientists do there, experience the amazing scientific atmosphere and see all the amazing equipment they use to discover particles.