Physics and Astronomy

Public events

We run numerous public events each year - full details are below.

Upcoming Public talks & Lectures
Sussex Universe talks programme for 2022  

Sussex Universe series: Autumn 2022

A PDF version of the Autumn 2022 talk program is available for you to download.



Steve Wilkins Sussex Universe Talk October 2022  

Thursday 6th October 2022

Exploring the Universe with the James Webb Space Telescope, Dr Stephen Wilkins

You can now watch this past talk on YouTube, or download the flier.


 Sussex Universe 2022 Talk 2  

Thursday 20th October 2022 - 6pm Fulton A

Finding the Weather inside Jet Engines.

Dr Mark Puttock-Brown

School of Engineering and Informatics

A flier for this public talk is available as a PDF document.

 Sussex Universe 2022 Talk 3  

Thursday 3rd November - 6pm Fulton A

Bee-haviour to Save the Bees.

Dr Beth Nicholls

School of Life Sciences

A flier for this public talk is available as a PDF document.

 Sussex Universe 2022 Talk 4  

Thursday 17th November - 6pm Fulton A

Everyday kindness and minimal social interactions: The power of small, humanising acts.

Dr Gillian Sandstrom

School of Psychology

A flier for this public talk is available as a PDF document.

 Sussex Universe 2022 Talk 5  

Thursday 8th December - 6pm Fulton A

Neutrinos: How understanding these elusive, tiny particles has big implications.

Prof. Simon Peeters

School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences

A flier for this public talk is available as a PDF document.


Travel advice

For events at the University of Sussex campus, directions can be found in either our travel advice PDF document, or on our central University directions webpage, and while we recommend travelling by train or bus to the campus, car parking on campus is free after 5pm.

A campus map to the Fulton A lecture theatre is also available.

Do please contact us in advance if you have any access requirements. We can provide you with a step-free access map in advance, or get one of our student volunteers to guide you around campus on the evening itself.


Members of the general public are welcome and encouraged to attend both our Institute of Physics (South-Central Branch) & Sussex Universe series of lectures, which are designed to be accessible and understandable to all (see our recorded lectures page to watch past talks).

For in-person lectures, we usually have between 30 and 150 people attending, with the audience consisting of some of our undergraduate students, practicing and retired physicists, and local school & college students usually make up a third of the audience.

Science fairs & workshops

Lewes STEM fair poster We organise and run several science fairs throughout Sussex, including the Lewes STEMFest and Brighton Wonderfest - both celebrations of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) in the heart of East Sussex with the aim of inspiring the next generation to build careers in STEM disciplines and promoting local STEM activities to a wide audience. 

Note: There are no public science fairs currently scheduled.

Past Talks & Events
Sussex Universe lectures

Many videos from previous talks are available to watch on the Sussex Universe YouTube channel.

Talk advert:  10 years of Higgs Boson

On Wednesday 6th of July 2022 we celebrated 10 years since the announcement of the discovery of the Higgs boson with an evening lecture on campus at the University of Sussex.

A recording of the lecture is available on YouTube via this link.

It's 10 years since the Nobel prize winning discovery of the Higgs boson, one of the crowning glories of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. It was sometimes described as the last piece of the jigsaw in our understanding of fundamental particles and their interactions, but in fact the discovery was only the beginning of exploring a new and even more exciting puzzle! This talk will discuss how the Higgs was discovered, the incredible depth of studies performed to learn more about this new particle, and how looking forward our understanding of the Higgs boson could unlock some of the key unanswered questions in physics; from why we are here, to the origin of Dark Matter and Dark Energy.

Presented by Royal Society University Research Fellow Dr. Josh McFayden (University of Sussex). Josh is an experimental particle physicist working on the ATLAS Experiment and the FASER Experiment, both based at the Large Hadron Collider, LHC, at CERN (European Laboratory for Particle Physics) in Geneva, Switzerland.


IOP talks programme 2019/20

IOP-SCB: 2019-2020 programme

The 2019/20 IOP-SCB series of talks include:

  • 8th October 2019: “Is Life Quantum Mechanical? The dawn of quantum biology” by Prof Jim Al Khalili
  • 12th November 2019: “The Science of Climate Change” by Prof Joanna Haigh
  • 10th December 2019: “Haptic Devices for Teaching and Learning with Touch Technologies” by Prof Margaret Cox
  • 11th February 2020: “From Terabytes to Insights: Extracting meaning from Big Data in biomedical imaging” by Dr Martin Jones


Poster for Jim's IOP evening lecture

IOP-SCB: October 2019, Sussex lecture

Is Life Quantum Mechanical? The dawn of quantum biology
by Prof Jim Al Khalili, University of Surrey
Tuesday 8th October 2019, 7 - 8pm
Lecture Theatre 1A7, Pevensey 1 building, University of Sussex [Map with directions]

This lecture introduces the exciting new field of Quantum Biology.

Quantum mechanics is familiar to physicists and chemists, but biologists too have to think about this strange yet powerful theory of the subatomic world. There is now solid evidence that enzymes, those metabolic workhorses that drive much of the action in our cells, use quantum tunnelling to accelerate chemical reactions. Plants use quantum coherence - sending lumps of energy in many directions at once - to calculate the most efficient route for sunlight to get to their photosynthetic cells. Some
birds appear to use quantum entanglement - what Einstein called “spooky action at a distance” - to ‘see’ the Earth’s magnetic field for navigation.


Poster for Jo's IOP evening lecture

IOP-SCB: November 2019

The Science of Climate Change
by Prof Joanna Haigh, Imperial College, London
Tuesday 12th November 2019, 7 - 8pm
Lecture Theatre 1A7, Pevensey 1 building, University of Sussex
(A map showing the location of the lecture theatre can be found in the Travel Advice section above.)

The world is warming faster that has ever been observed in the past. Overwhelmingly scientists are of the opinion that this is largely due to the effect of gases released into the atmosphere by human activities. How can we be sure of this? And what can we say about the future?

This talk will look at the scientific evidence for climate change and discuss how increasing concentrations of “greenhouse gases”, especially carbon dioxide, create an imbalance in the Earth’s energy budget with impacts on temperature, sea level and weather patterns. 

We will see how physics is used to construct computer models to investigate what this may mean for the future, and consider what needs to be done to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases in order for the world to avoid dangerous levels of warming.


IOP talk Margaret Cox Dec 19

IOP-SCB: December 2019

Haptic Devices for Teaching and Learning with Touch Technologies  
by Prof Margaret Cox, King’s College London

Tuesday 10th December 2019, 7 - 8pm
Lecture Theatre 1A7, Pevensey 1 building, University of Sussex
(A map showing the location of the lecture theatre can be found in the Travel Advice section above.)

Haptics, which mean the sense of touch, has been a growing aspect of technology in education and training and across society at large. Haptic devices, developed by physicists, include touch screens, hand held devices and robots which are not only found in the smart phone in your pocket but are widely used in medicine, dentistry, veterinary science, physics and computer games.
This lecture will show how such devices are revolutionizing the way students and professionals learn.  It will include a wide range of examples of haptic technologies being developed across the world for use in education and health care, and explore the ways in which these technologies will change our lives for the better.,/p>


Martin's IOP lecture poster

IOP-SCB: February 2020

From Terabytes to Insights: Extracting meaning from Big Data in biomedical imaging
by Dr Martin Jones, The Francis Crick Institute, London

Tuesday 11th February 2020, 7 - 8pm
Fulton A Lecture Theatre, University of Sussex [Map].

Modern microscopes used in biology are marvels of physics and engineering, capable of producing unprecedented amounts of data -terabyte scale datasets now routine. Extracting insights from this deluge of complex data is extremely challenging, and traditional analysis techniques simply don’t scale well enough to cope.

This talk will explore a range of different imaging techniques to learn about biology in ever-increasing detail, and the significant challenges for scientists hoping to make new discoveries.  Using techniques from physics, engineering and computer science to acquire and analyse data at these huge scales, we will also look to the future to see how we might deal with datasets as they get even larger.

   For reference, here is a list of the past talks in the IOP lecture series here at Sussex.