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Published on 23.10.15

City of Physics 2015 - The Beauty and Mystery of Physics to come alive in Dublin

The ‘City of Physics’ team from Trinity College Dublin, UCD and CRANN have today launched a new interactive and inclusive campaign to encourage everyone across the capital to explore and discover the beauty of Physics around Dublin City. The campaign will be rolling across a four week period, from 26th October to 19th November, and will transform Dublin into a vibrant celebration of physics with notices on buses, the DART and on the street, as well as a variety of different public events. The city of Dublin will come alive with discussions and installations, with an exciting events programme dedicated to showing how Physics touches everyone’s lives and impacts on society.

The idea behind the campaign is to bring simple physics to life, to spark curiosities and ask people to consider Physics as part of our culture. Have you ever wondered why the metal pole on the DART feels colder than the seat? This campaign will encourage the people of Dublin to ask themselves simple questions like that, whose answers are routed in Physics, using a selection of insightful quotes and questions that will be accompanied by illustrations created by Irish illustrators, in order to bring the question to life. The illustrators involved include: Steve McCarthy Chris Judge, Kathi Burke, Fuchsia MacAree, Rob Torrans, and Shane Kenna .

Dr Shane Bergin, lecturer at Trinity College Dublin’s School of Physics and Nanoscience Institute CRANN, said, “Physics is not a heavy book of facts you need to memorise. It’s a way of looking at and explaining the world around you. With it, you’ll see the beauty in simple everyday things. In City of Physics, we’re connecting Dubliners with the beauty of physics. Irish people may love to chat but we don’t talk much about science. City of Physics hopes to spark conversations and debates. This is really important.  Society will only reap the real benefits of research in science and technology when we ‘own it’ – when it’s part of our culture like GAA, music or talking about the weather’.  

In addition to the guerrilla Physics artwork element of the campaign, Dubliners will be confronted with the beauty of physics by offering them the opportunity to see a live projection of the sun (streamed as live from the Solar Dynamics Observatory, NASA) on Dame House, Dame Street, Dublin 2. This visual spectacle will be projected for three days Wednesday 28th October through to Friday 30th October from 6pm to 10pm. There will also be talks and workshops at a number of events throughout Dublin during the four week initiative.

Dr Aoibhinn Ni Shuilleabhain, Lecturer at UCD, said “Albert Einstein once wrote: ‘The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.’ City of Physics offers a little bit of the mysterious in our everyday lives. We invite you to notice, take part in, and enjoy City of Physics as a project all Dubliners can be a part of and be proud of. Dublin is a cultural, historical, sociable, bustling city and as Dubliners we love to talk and ask questions.With this campaign we hope to encourage people to think and talk about physics in the world around them. You don’t have to be a scientist to ask good questions!”

Dubliners will also be encouraged to continue their physics journey on the campaign website –  The website acts as a hub for the project. As the four week City of Physics campaign is rolled out, a series of blog posts and podcasts will be uploaded to the website, linked to various physics topics.

Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland, said: “City of Physics is a fantastic vehicle to bring the splendour of Physics to an entire city and making science more accessible for all. SFI is delighted to be involved in this thought provoking campaign, which we hope will lead to a city wide conversation around Physics.”

As well as benefiting from funding from the Schools of Physics and Education at Trinity, which are jointly leading the initiative, UCD College of Science and UCD Research & Innovation, CRANN, Science Foundation Ireland, Irish Rail, Intel Ireland, The Institute of Physics, Each&Other and Dublin City Council have all provided financial and/or in-kind contributions to ensure the project is a success.    

This a not-for-profit educational project directed by Dr Shane Bergin and Dr Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin.

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