Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 6

The newspaper of the physics community

December 2012

Physics outreach is rewarded


Heather Pinnell reports on an event to encourage aspiring communicators.
Being involved in physics communication is unlikely to lead to instant stardom but it is worthwhile, Prof. Jim Al-Khalili told the audience at an event organised by the IOPs Physics Communicators Group. He was the guest speaker at the final of the Very Early Career Physics Communicator Awards, held at the Institute on 20 November. Before helping to choose the winner among the four finalists, he spoke about his experience of making a BBC Four documentary series on quantum mechanics. It was thought that putting quantum mechanics in the title of the series would in itself be too scary for people, so it ended up being called Atom, he said. The challenge we had was to get across the wonder of quantum mechanics and just how important it is as a scientific theory, along with all the fun and the mystery. Making all of this accessible had included using a multistorey tower to illustrate quantum jumps (I thought it was really cheesy but audiences really liked it), moving virtual graphs around with his hand, and floating old photos of famous physicists who attended the pivotal Solvay Conference as if they were ghosts reappearing from the past. We managed in three hours to talk about quantum mechanics to such an extent that I havent made another programme with that level of complexity, he said. This was the first series that alerted people at the BBC that BBC Four allows us to explore maybe more difficult ideas than BBC One and Two. By 2010 the BBC had commissioned more science and thats when we had Brian Cox producing his first Wonders of the Solar System series and that just blew people away. Atom was watched by about a million people on BBC Four; Brian was getting six or seven million on BBC Two people who wouldnt normally engage
Richard Lewis

Physics in a flash
Scientists in China have devised a fast and cheap way to find the thickness of graphene and similar materials, using an optical microscope to measure the red, green and blue components of light as these are reflected from their surfaces. Many unusual properties of such materials rely on their thickness. The research is reported in IOP Publishings journal Nanotechnology.
ioppublishing.org

Scientists rapidly get the measure of graphene

Prof. Jim Al-Khalili speaking at a prize-giving for physics communicators held in November.

with science documentaries. While science on BBC Four draws the kind of viewers who are already very interested in science, the higher budget, polished programmes that Prof. Cox makes are attracting a whole new audience, he said. Brian and I are not in competition; he gets to more interesting places and has larger audiences, but I get stuck into the nitty-gritty science on BBC Four, and Im hoping that thats something that wont change. Luckily science is still seen as cool and something that the BBC wants to continue to commission. When asked for advice on getting into television work, he said: You start small. Its being involved and networking. The BBCs science unit go along to the Cheltenham Science Festival every year and thats a very good place to get to know people. Its not that different from applying for research grants you just have to keep trying. But its not very often that someone is discovered and theres instant stardom.

Science programmes are something that the BBC still wants to commission.

Asked if doing public engagement had helped or harmed his career, Prof. Al-Khalili said that when he started by doing the IOPs schools and colleges lecture tour in 1997 he was strongly advised against it, but attitudes had changed. Now everyone I work with says this is an important job that youre doing. But PhD students still needed encouragement from their supervisors that it was OK to spare some time for science outreach, he said. After presentations by the four finalists including PhD student Evelyn Johnston, researcher Andrew Steele, and PhD student Julian Stirling research associate Ben Still was chosen as the winner of the first prize of 250. All four were presented with certificates by the IOPs curriculum and diversity manager pre-19, Clare Thomson, who judged the entries along with Prof. Al-Khalili. Each of the runners-up said how impressed they were by the other presentations and how much they had enjoyed the competition. Still said how grateful and surprised he was to be shortlisted and then to win. He said: Its nice to get recognition for some of the things I have been doing and to know that its appreciated. l February Interactions will carry a profile of Ben Still.

Sound sculptor receives CERN residency award


Bill Fontana

Sound artist Bill Fontana has been awarded an arts residency at CERN, the Prix Ars Electronica Collide@ CERN. The award includes a two-month residency at CERN, a month at Futurelab, Linz, and 10,000. Fontana, a San Francisco-based artist, creates sound installations in settings such as Chicagos Millennium Park (pictured). www.resoundings.org

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook:


http://twitter.com/ physicsnews www.facebook.com/ instituteofphysics

Interactio ns D e ce m be r 2 0 1 2

news
sented by Laurie Mansfield, the IOPs international co-ordinator for The Gambia, who also helped to judge the other categories. The overall winners were Aisha Nduku, Monica Shinina and Nengai Moses, from Kibosho Girls School, Kilimanjaro, who will attend the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition in Dublin in January. The IOPs international co-ordinator for Tanzania, Joe Brock, co-ordinates the Institutes work through the Morogoro Physics Centre there, and the Institutes assistant in Tanzania, Obeid Sitta, welcomed visitors to the IOPs stand at the exhibition, where experiments were on display. Some students had travelled up to 30 hours to take part in the event, which focused particularly on social themes such as active citizenship and the fight against poverty. www.youngscientists.co.tz

Young scientists compete in Tanzania


Tanzania held its first Young Scientists Tanzania (YST) competition and exhibition in Dar es Salam in October, attracting 300 students and 100 teachers from throughout the country as well as members of the public. It was opened by Tanzanias minister for communication, science and technology, Prof. Makame Mbarawa. The event was inspired by and modelled on the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition held annually in Dublin, in which young people compete to produce the best science projects. IOP honorary fellow Tony Scott, who co-founded the Irish exhibition, went to the YST award ceremony. He said that he was delighted to see the event taking root in Tanzania. The idea grew from Tanzanian scholars visiting Ireland as part of a training programme of the Combat Diseases

Obeid Sitta welcomes young visitors to the IOPs stand at Young Scientists Tanzania.

of Poverty Consortium centred on NUI Maynooth. While mentoring students undertaking development-themed projects for the Irish competition, the scholars were so impressed that they asked whether something like it could be established in Tanzania. YST was sponsored by Irish Aid

and the Pearson Foundation. The IOP sponsored the Institute of Physics Award for Best Physics Project, which went to Witness Shirima, Alexander Ngatuni and Irene Chuwa of Rau School, Kilimanjaro, for their project Application of electromagnets in an electric bell. It was judged and pre-

Nuclear physics community should grow, says IOP report


Nuclear physics research in the UK is of high quality but the community is too small to meet all the requirements placed upon it, according to an IOP report, A Review of UK Nuclear Physics Research. At its launch in October, physicists discussed the reports recommendations, including a proposal for a new theory group to add to the two existing groups at the universities of Manchester and Surrey, and a Centre of Excellence (COE) to act as a focus and voice for all the UKs nuclear physics groups. Prof. Bill Gelletly, who chaired the panel conducting the review, said the community had to be brought together to play to its strengths. He told the meeting that it consisted of around 55 academics with permanent positions, plus PhD students and postdocs, with only about seven permanent academics working in theoretical nuclear physics. Their output and quality were high when compared to those from competitor countries or comparable fields in the UK, he said. But increased funding was needed, particularly as nuclear physics had not shared in the general uplift in science spending prior to the cuts made since 2007. The report says that current funding is not enough to maintain excellence in basic nuclear physics, allow the subject to diversify, improve aimed particularly at PhD students and postdocs. The chair of Newtons Apple, Michael Elves, said that its purpose was to give participants an insight into how the science-policy interface operates and to stimulate people to get involved in science policymaking. Former MP and select committee chairman Ian Gibson said that very few MPs had a science background and this was unlikely to change, given the time pressures on scientists and the difficulty of combining capability in theory and play a full role in applications as well as to train the people needed in research, healthcare, the nuclear industry and defence. It calls on the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) to address this, but says that the community can also take action by establishing a COE whose remit would include overseeing some aspects of PhD training on a UK-wide basis, and proAn Institute of Physics Report | October 2012

A Review of UK Nuclear Physics Research

moting nuclear physics. Janet Seed, the STFCs associate director of programmes, responded by saying that the STFC did not ringfence funding for particular fields. It was in the middle of a programmatic review, which would be a sciencedriven process, she said. She welcomed the idea of a COE. The report calls for the STFC to negotiate a formal association with the Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research (FAIR), which is about to be built in Germany. Seed said that the STFC was in discussions to become an associate partner of FAIR. The report can be downloaded from Publications at www.iop.org. reports, and seeks to influence policymakers through networking and through the media. Widespread media coverage of the IOPs report on girls and A-level physics had helped the IOP to exert pressure for school inspections to include gender issues, for example. The workshop also heard from Chris McFee, head of civil contingencies in the Government Office for Science, and Tim Lovett, public affairs director of the British Beekeepers Association.

Physicists learn to be influential


Scientists can influence government policy but it takes well organised campaigns to really be effective. This was the message of a workshop,An Introduction to Science Policy, hosted by the IOP on 15 November. The event was organised by the think-tank Newtons Apple and the IOP and was open to all, but was
I n t e rac t i o ns D e c e m b e r 2012

a research career with politics. The debate is about how we get more people like you into the decisionmaking process, he said. The IOPs director of education and science, Prof. Peter Main, said that professional bodies such as the IOP provided one of the best routes for starting to get involved in policy work, particularly for young people. He explained that the IOP responds to consultations from government and offers advice, suggests names of experts when asked, publishes

news

Ethiopia hosts IOP workshop


More than 40 people took part in a workshop on commercialising innovation that was held at Addis Ababa University on 59 November. The event, entitled Entrepreneurship Workshop for Scientists and Engineers in East Africa was organised by the IOP and the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), in collaboration with the Ethiopian Physical Society. Since 2005 the IOP and the ICTP have organised eight entrepreneurship workshops in developing countries and held several others at the ICTP in Trieste, with the content tailored to the level of participants experience and knowledge of commercialisation. The programme in Ethiopia included talks on the process of commercialisation such as technology forecasting, financing options, intellectual property issues and taking inventions to market, and practical exercises on developing a business idea.

News in Brief
Interactive workshops on everyday experiments, liquid nitrogen, meeting real scientists and particle physics filled up in advance of a free Festival of Physics held at the University of Plymouth on 17 November by the IOPs South West Branch. Visitors could also hear talks on physics topics such as planet formation and the physics of superheroes, and for over-18s there was a comedy event entitled All At Sea, by Bright Club. The Harrie Massey Medal and Prize has been awarded to Anthony Murphy (right) of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, in Australia. The biennial award, which is given jointly by the IOP and the Australian Institute of Physics (AIP), is made for contributions to physics or its applications. Murphy will be presented with the award at the AIP annual congress in December for his outstanding research in the field of thermal plasmas, in particular his work on computational modelling and measurement techniques and their application to the development of industrial processes. A poster about the Higgs boson is due to be sent in December to all IOP-affiliated schools. The two-sided poster explains what the Higgs is, why it matters and the hunt to find it. Aimed at enthusing school students about particle physics, it is also suitable for a wider audience. IOP intern Richard Millar, Science Committee member Prof. Mark Lancaster and Council member Prof. Brian Foster worked to ensure the accuracy of the text. E-mail tajinder.panesor@ Higgs BOsON iop.org for details.
Higgs boson
The who, what and why of the journey to discovery...
3
THE 4TH JULY 2012 WAS A TRULY HISTORIC DAY FOR SCIENCE
The elusive Higgs boson seemed to be finally found when a Higgs-like particle was announced as a formal discovery at CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research).

Workshop participants Tizazu Maresha (left) and Tilahu Tesfaye comparing notes.

As well as seasoned speakers from previous workshops, there was input from Ethiopians including Girma Senbeta from the Ethiopian Intellectual Property Office, and Bethlehem Alemu, entrepreneur and founder of soleRebels Footwear, who has won international awards as a businesswoman.

The IOPs international relations manager, Dipali Bhatt-Chauhan, and the IOPs director of communications, Beth Taylor, led several sessions during the event. Taylor said afterwards: Many participants in the workshop lack basic resources that we take for granted. Their enthusiasm is truly inspiring.

India and Nigeria will have IOP branches


Two new branches of the IOP are to be set up, one in India and one in Nigeria, at the request of IOP members in the two countries. The Institutes Council agreed to the plan at its meeting on 23 November, following visits to India and Nigeria in the autumn by IOP representatives. IOP Council member Ade Ogunsola met members based in India in September, supported by Stephanie Richardson, the IOPs head of membership development, and Raj Jandu, its member services officer. A similar meeting, organised by Ogunsola, was held in Nigeria in October, attended by IOP president Prof. Sir Peter Knight (pictured) and the IOPs director of membership and business, John Brindley. While in Nigeria both gave by Deloitte and published by the IOP in October, also shows that 4.6% of Scotlands workforce is employed in physics-based sectors, compared to 4% in the UK overall. If productivity is measured in GVA per worker, then physics-based sectors in the UK do better than the average in other businesses and industries (70,000 as compared to 36,000), but physics-based sectors in Scotland do even better (78,000 GVA per worker). While 109,000 people work in physics-based sectors in Scotland, generating 8.5 bn of the GVA, a further 75,000 jobs and 4 bn of GVA can be attributed to the indiaddresses at a one-day conference at the University of Lagos entitled The Role of Physics in the Development of a Nation, organised by the universitys departments of physics and of electrical and electronics engineering, the IOP and the Nigerian Institute of Physics. Brindley stressed that the new branches would complement, rather than replace, the work of the Indian Physics Association and the Nigerian Institute of Physics. rect effects of these sectors, such as generating employment in supplier companies or through consumer spending by employees. In a foreword to the report, the IOPs president, Prof. Sir Peter Knight, says: For physics-based businesses to continue to thrive, there must be a strong and broad research base and a ready supply of trained workers for them to call on. There must also be focused support for physics-based businesses through innovative procurement strategies and access to the capital necessary for growth. The report can be downloaded from Publications at www.iop.org.

THE HIGGS BOSON THEORISTS

WHAT IS THE HIGGS BOSON?


The Higgs boson has captured the minds of the world, but what actually is this particle?

This announcement marked the completion of a journey spanning 48 years and extending from the theoretical postulation of the particle through to the construction of the most complicated experimental machine in history to find it.

Despite being mistakenly referred to as the God particle it doesnt tell us anything about how the Universe came into being

the Higgs boson gives mass to the other known fundamental particles, which taken together form the Standard Model, which is a mathematical description of the particles and forces of the Universe at the most fundamental level.

The concept of the Higgs Peter Higgs is a British physicist boson was born in 1964 when who worked in theoretical a series of seminal papers particle physics at the by several authors were University of Edinburgh. published, all independently The prediction of the Higgs describing very similar boson is his most well-known mechanisms for the existence work, prompting the decadesof the property of mass for the long search for the postulated fundamental particles. particle, whose discovery Higgs was unsure he would The authors were the see in his lifetime. theoretical physicists Kibble, Guralnik, Hagen, Englert, On 4th July 2012, the Brout and Higgs (whose discovery of a new particle name became synonymous was announced in front of with the theory). an emotional Higgs.

THE SEARCH FOR THE HIGGS BOSON

The prediction of the Higgs boson stimulated many experimental searches for the particle. The Large Hadron Collider (the machine constructed

at CERN that discovered a Higgs-like particle) is the latest incarnation of the large particle colliders that carry out experiments at unimaginably small scales.

Value of physics in Scotland is shown


The Scottish economy is benefitting from physics-based business to an even greater degree than the UK as a whole, according to a report commissioned by the IOP. Physics-based sectors contributed 9.8% of gross value added (GVA) to Scotlands economy between 2005 and 2010, the report says, while such sectors contributed 8.5% of the GVA of the UK economy overall. The Importance of Physics to the Scottish Economy, prepared

THE SEARCH CONTINUES

HOW DOES IT WORK?

The Higgs boson has a mass of approximately 10-25kg, about 133 times that of a proton. Albert Einsteins famous equation E=mc2 informs us that mass and energy are equivalent (E is energy, m is mass and c is the speed of light).

Using this equation we can calculate how much energy we could extract from a particle of a certain mass, and conversely how much energy

is required to create a particle of a certain mass. Since the mass of the Higgs boson is over a 100 times larger than that of a proton and only a small fraction of the protons energy is used to create the Higgs boson, then proton beams of very high energy are required that are provided by the LHC, which accelerates each proton to 0.99999997 of the speed of light.

With the LHC up and running, the analysis of the data output is a formidable task. The Higgs boson can only be measured indirectly through measurement of the particles into which it decays, as it is not a stable particle - it has an expected existence time of less

A good analogy for how the Higgs boson gives the other particles mass is given by the so-called political delegate analogy, which weve modified to include one of the worlds most revered physicists. Imagine a room completely full of delegates, with a door at either end of the room. When Albert Einstein enters the room the delegates cluster around him, feverishly trying to get near enough to speak to him.

than a millionth of a billionth of a second! Ascertaining whether the Higgs boson exists is like trying to calculate the weight of a tiger by measuring the tracks it leaves in the mud.

This crush of people gives inertia (mass) to the motion of Einstein across the room, making it very difficult for him to start moving and also very difficult for him to stop once going! In contrast, less famous scientists can move across the room without such a large crowd forming around them. These less famous scientists have much less inertia (mass) than Einstein.

In this analogy, the delegates are the Higgs field. The other fundamental particles are the various scientists entering the room. This analogy essentially describes how the Higgs mechanism gives things mass.

Remember, more scientific credibility and importance means more mass!

BEYOND DISCOvERY

WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT?

The property of mass is such an integral part of the Universe, that without the existence of the Higgs field giving the fundamental particles various values of mass then the Universe as we know it wouldnt exist!

If there were no Higgs mechanism, there would be no galaxies, no stars and no atoms. It is important to realise just how integral the Higgs boson is for the structure of everything familiar and unfamiliar in the Universe around us.

The discovery of a Higgs-like particle certainly marks the beginning of a new epoch in the history of physics. We know more about the most fundamental level of matter and reality than ever before. The experimental discovery announced on 4th July 2012 demonstrates the predictive power of elegant mathematical theories to describe the Universe.

The next stage of experimentation will be to work out exactly what kind of particle was discovered. There are different possible variants of the Higgs boson, corresponding to different conceptions of reality. It may turn out that the particle discovered corresponds to an exotic and unexpected Higgs boson.

The existence of such a particle may act as a gateway to a whole new level of physics and could point a way toward the solution of problems such as dark matter but an indication that we and quantum gravity. It is likely are standing on the edge that the discovery of the Higgs of finding a new deeper boson is not one of the final level of reality than we have pieces in the jigsaw of reality ever perceived before.

7906 IOP Higgs Poster A0 final AW.indd 1

14/11/12 11:40:20

Particle tracks from a protonproton collision observed by the Compact Muon Solenoid detector at CERN. The Large Hadron Collider accelerates the protons which collide, creating particles (the yellow lines), including the Higgs boson (which decays immediately, so is not visible). The Higgs boson decays into a pair of Z bosons which themselves decay into a pair of electrons and positrons (the long red lines).
For more information on this poster, please email: tajinder.panesor@iop.org

7906 IOP Higgs Poster A0 final AW.indd 2

14/11/12 11:40:21

Interactio ns D e ce m be r 2 0 1 2

people
Editor Heather Pinnell, Production Editor Alison Gardiner, Art Director Andrew Giaquinto. Institute of Physics, 76 Portland Place, London W1B 1NT, UK. Tel +44 (0)20 7470 4800; fax +44 (0)20 7470 4991; e-mail interactions@iop.org; web http://members.iop.org.

notices
NE W ME MBE R S
Giles Allison, Muhammad Anwar, Rachael Austin, Daryl Beggs, Michael Bennett, Richard Benninger, Stephen Benzies, Mario Bisi, Nicholas Blanchard, Eoin Butler, Daniel Bye, Andrew Cambridge, Andrew Carter, Eulalia Castro Alvaredo, Trevor Chambers, Emma Chapman, Candice Chinneck, Jon Clarke, Michael Collett, Patricia Conder, Pete Coyle, Andrew DArcy, Brendan Darrer, Sarah David, Martin Dawson, Alastair Dewar, Nicola Diplock, Christopher Eames, Michela Esposito, Francoise Ethievent, Antony Evans, Steven Everitt, Neil Fachie, Katherine Finn, Michael Finnie, Sarah Fisher, Sonja Franke-Arnold, Mark Gallaway, Robert George, Mark Gould, Naomi Greenough, Ben Griffiths, Jonathan Hallam, Ik Heng, Konstanze Hild, Adam Hill, David Horsell, Emma Howard, Hannes Huebel, Stephen Hunter, Stuart Ingleby, Jason Jenkins, Pamela Johnston, Stephen Justham, Christopher Kay, Bhavin Khatri, Christian Killow, Daniel Kolb, Jon Lanz, Christopher Lee, Linda Lee, Marion Leibl, Wing-Kai Leung, Nicholas Macey, Katherine Mack, Stephen Mann, Robert McNulty, Demetrius Onoufriou, Renato Pallassini, Robert Palmer, Anup Parikh, Graham Purves, Melanie Rolliston, David Rowley, Sabyasachi Sarkar, Sarah Schuppli-Saegesser, Francois Sfigakis, Gregory Stevens, Begona Vivas-Maiques, Michael Ward, Matthew Watts, Timothy Whitehead, Robert Whitham. Kildare), Balzs Gyrffy, Anthony Herbert Hitchcock (Leeds), John Logan Lewis (Malvern), John Lennox Monteith, Michael Parsley, Roy Strand. 1 January and 31 December 2012. Entry is open to journalists, people with a recognised qualification in physics, or students of physics or journalism. The prize is a trip to Japan to visit major facilities. For details, visit the news section of the STFCs website at www.stfc.ac.uk or the IOPs website at www.iop.org. The closing date is 4 January 2013.

ANN Ou N c E M E Nt S
l The prize for physics journalism of the IOP and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is still open to entries. The award is for a work of journalism that can be accessed by the general public and that covers physics research, related technology, interdisciplinary research including physics, the application of physics in industry, or the work and related lifestyles of physicists, engineers or people working in physics. Entries must have been published in English in the UK in print, broadcast or online between

M E M B E R NE WS
IOP Excellence in Physics Awards were presented on 14 November to Cameron Pringle, an affiliate member at the High School of Dundee, for gaining top marks in his physics Higher, and student member James Matthew, formerly at George Heriots School, Edinburgh, for excelling in his physics Advanced Higher. They were among five students to win the award.

I N M EM ORI AM
Sean Barrett, Cyril Delaney (County

Interactions is not published in January: the next issue will be available online in February 2013

Environmental Physics Essay Competition


The annual Institute of Physics Environmental Physics Group essay competition is now open for entries. Entries can cover any aspect of environmental physics and should be no more than 2000 words long. The competition is open to all but entries from students are particularly welcome.

INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS AWARDS 2013

Call for nominations


The Institute of Physics Awards Committee is now seeking nominations for the Institutes 2013 Awards. The awards recognise and reward outstanding achievements by physicists working in industry, business and research as well as contributions made to physics outreach and education and the application of physics and physics-based technologies. We particularly welcome nominations for female physicists and physicists from ethnic minorities who are often underrepresented in the nominations that we receive.

up to 500 to be won certificates the winning entries will also be all entrants will receive free IOP
membership for three months
Entries must be original and will be judged on writing quality and content. Entries and enquiries should be emailed to env.essay@physics.org. Further details can be found at www.iop.org/activity/groups/ subject/env/index.html.

Prizes

considered for publication

Closing date: 21 January 2013


Full details of the awards, eligibility and the nomination procedure are available on our website at www.iop.org/about. Alternatively, contact us by e-mailing awards@iop.org or calling +44 (0)20 7470 4831.

Closing date: 31 December 2012

I n t e rac t i o ns D e c e m b e r 2012

Letter from
...the director of communications
Since 2004, Interactions has been the main vehicle for the IOP to communicate directly with members. While our flagship magazine Physics World has brought members news about international developments in physics, Interactions has focused on issues that matter to the physics community, news about the Institute, and news about members. In an effort to reduce costs, Interactions changed last year to a virtual newspaper accessed through the e-mail that is sent to members each month. The electronic format allows us to collect information on readership, and reveals that only a small minority of members are clicking through to the newspaper. This is a lost opportunity to let members know what their Institute is doing. We asked a consultancy in member communications to conduct a telephone survey of 200 members, and benchmark our publication against those of other societies. The result was a recommendation to change the current format, integrating the Interactions content into a monthly e-bulletin, so that members could read news stories at a glance just by opening their monthly e-mail. To make that e-mail as attractive as possible, we held a series of focus groups in Bristol, Edinburgh and London in the autumn. Members expressed a range of views, but some common themes included a strong preference for content tailored as much as possible to individual recipients, for example by where they live, or by topics in which they have an interest. Another striking finding was the number of e-mails that members routinely receive from the IOP, which can cause confusion. As a result, our next step will be a thorough audit of all our electronic communications, to identify any opportunities for rationalisation. Then well test alternative formats with the focus groups and other members and introduce a new e-bulletin in spring 2013. Interactions will continue in its current format until then. All comments would be welcome. Beth Taylor is the IOPs director of communications.

obituary
John Logan Lewis (19232012)
John Logan Lewis was born on 23 September 1923 in Reading, where his father worked for the biscuit firm Huntley and Palmers. He attended The Abbey preparatory school in Beckenham and, through his mathematical ability, gained a Major Scholarship to attend Malvern College, where he eventually specialised in mathematics and physics. The later period of his secondary education during the early war years was disrupted when Malvern College was evacuated on two occasions, first to Blenheim and later to Harrow, due to the site being requisitioned first by the Admiralty and later by the Telecommunications Research Establishment. Nevertheless he was able to gain entrance to Pembroke College, Cambridge, in 1942 where he became interested in astronomy, founding the Cambridge Astronomical Society which, later in his career, earned him Fellowship of the Royal Astronomical Society. He transferred to Porton Down in 1944 to carry out tank armament research, but after two years began teaching at Eastbourne College. After accepting an invitation to join the staff at Malvern College, where he remained for the rest of his teaching career, he was able to return temporarily to Cambridge to complete his degree course in mathematics and physics. It was during his periods at Cambridge that he encountered many of the scientists and educationalists who played an important role in his later life. He also became an enthusiastic and accomplished participant in English folk dancing and upon his return to Malvern founded a group, The Malvern Swordsmen who continue to perform tours of the Cotswold villages during the summer months. He also joined the Malvern Scots Club and it was through this club that he met his future wife, Maureen, whom he married in 1952; his two sons, Richard and Anthony, being born in 1955 and 1957 respectively. In 1955 he was appointed head of the science department at Malvern College and became active in the Association for Science Education, appointed chairman of their Modern Physics Committee in 1960. Before taking up the position of housemaster at Malvern College in 1961 he was able to visit and report on education in a number of countries, including the USSR. This led to an invitation to join the Nuffield Project tasked with designing a set of science teaching programmes for the 1116 year age range, and he soon became associate organiser of the whole of the physics project leading up to the O-level examination. During this period he was responsible for five experiment books and closely involved in the development of the associated apparatus. He was a chief examiner for the Nuffield O-level examination for the following 25 years and in 1967 he became a member of the steering committee of the Nuffield Advanced Physics Project.

During the years 196366 he served his first term on the Council of the Institute of Physics, and in 1969 he was awarded the Institutes Bragg Medal for his services to physics education. In the years that followed, his expertise in the teaching of physics was much in demand both at home and overseas. He travelled widely and served many organisations in a voluntary capacity, including the editorial board of the journal Physics Education. He acted as secretary for the International Commission on Physics Education and later fulfilled a similar role for the Committee on the Teaching of Science of the International Council of Scientific Unions. He was chairman of the Association of Science Education 197677. In 1978 he was awarded the Queens Silver Jubilee medal for services to education and was president of the education section of the British Association for the Advancement of Science in 1980 when he was awarded an OBE. Following his retirement from Malvern College in 1983 he was elected again to the Council of the Institute of Physics and served as vice-president for education until 1988. For the next 10 years he served in an unfamiliar role as honorary treasurer and non-executive director on the board of Institute of Physics Publishing Ltd. During this period he also provided an invaluable service as treasurer to the European Physical Society, resulting in a regularisation and significant improvement of its financial position. In recognition of his many contributions to the physics community he was appointed an honorary fellow of the Institute of Physics after completing his term in office in 1999. However, this did not mark the end of his active life, as he undertook another major activity that extended well into his eighties: the development of a sixth-form course that equipped students with practical skills useful in the wider world. At one stage material from this course was adopted by 1500 schools. John Lewis was an incredibly energetic and enthusiastic person with great organisational ability. He was adept at bringing the most appropriate people together at meetings and conferences so as to ensure progress was made. He had many passions as well as teaching physics, including folk dancing and bell ringing and he pursued them all with great vigour. Always claiming to be shy, he was in practice extremely interactive and an excellent communicator. He was always positive and encouraging to his friends and colleagues, whatever their station or rank, and his influence will be greatly missed well beyond the physics education community that he served so well. John Logan Lewis died on 11 October 2012 aged 89. He is survived by his wife, two sons, six grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Remembered by Eric Jakeman
Interactio ns De ce m be r 2 0 1 2

reflections
Office. James Clerk Maxwell, whose pioneering insights into electromagnetism underpin todays wireless communications, made many of his breakthroughs in the UKs university system. The government helped to fund Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the scientist who invented the worldwide web at CERN. These technologies and others like them are essential to the UKs future. Economists have shown that two-thirds of economic growth results from innovation. The world needs new technologies in order to meet the challenges of the 21st century, from climate change to food security. The UK needs a new generation of researchers, inventors, and entrepreneurs to help to create an economy fit for the future, and the right infrastructure to support them. The windfall from the 3G spectrum was used to pay down the deficit. Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls has recently called for this new windfall to be used to build affordable homes and to offer a tax break to first-time buyers. Both of these are laudable but neither will give our economy the jump-start that it needs. With its flat-cash settlement under attack from inflation, the UK faces stiff competition from countries that are increasing their investments in science. Sweden has recently unveiled plans to increase its science budget by 13%, Chinas spending is up 13.4% this year compared to last year and even France plans to increase spending on higher education and research by 2.2% in 2013. The proceeds of the auction are a return on past generations investments in technology. The responsible way to use them is to reinvest them in technology. We need your help. Please visit the 4Growth campaign website and sign the petition at www.its4growth.co.uk.
Imran Khan is the director of CaSE. The views expressed here are his own and those of CaSE, but the Institute of Physics is a member of CaSE and supports the 4G campaign.

Why science must profit from 4G sale


Imran Khan argues that the windfall from selling the 4G spectrum should be spent on science.
The government is about to be given the chance to revolutionise science and engineering in the UK. At the beginning of 2013 the 4G spectrum will be auctioned, bringing superfast mobile internet access and up to 4 bn for the Treasury. Together with the charity Nesta Imran Khan. and with support from Prof. Sir Peter Knight, Prof. Brian Cox, Prof. Lesley Yellowlees, Prof. Sir Andre Geim and many others we in the Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE) are campaigning for the 4G windfall to be reinvested in science, engineering, technology and innovation. 4G technology is a clear example of the importance of sustained investment in research. Marconis demonstration of wireless telegraphy in 1896 was backed by our General Post

The proceeds of the 4G auction are a return on past generations investments in technology.

I n t e rac t i o ns D e c e m b e r 2012