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Orion laser facility

Orion is one of the most powerful lasers and largest laser facilities in the UK.

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Physics in action

A team of five AWE scientists inspired hundreds of excited pupils at the Physics at Work Exhibition held last month on 17-19 Sept at the Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge. 

The AWE team of Josh Dugdale, Sara French, Karla Hardman, Matt Childs and Andrew Davies gave a physics presentation called ‘Under Pressure’ about the effects of pressure, pressure waves and explosions. This included the generation of explosive events using an exploding ‘custard powder’ experiment, and the use of ‘Vortex Cannons’ to blow polystyrene cups on their teachers’ heads! 

Josh Dugdale said: “It was a really enjoyable event and it was good to have the opportunity to inspire the next generation to study in the maths and science field. It was also great fun as a team-building experience.”

The three-day annual event was attended by 150 groups of secondary school children not just from the Cambridge area but also from Liverpool, London and beyond – with 25 representatives composed of Cambridge University departments and industry – who took time out from their day jobs to demonstrate how physics is applied in the real world.

A total of 2,265 GCSE pupils who attended the event were asked to ‘score’ the presentations and the AWE team were voted second overall. AWE works with young people to encourage interest in science, engineering and technology as part of its schools liaison programme.

Professor James Stirling, Head of the Cavendish Laboratory, said: “AWE’s level of engagement at this event is impressive. It is one of the few presenting organisations which brings a fresh team every year with a changing demonstration.”

 

Notes to Editors

1.     AWE plays a crucial role in national defence by providing and maintaining warheads for Trident, the UK's nuclear deterrent

2.     AWE is contracted to the Ministry of Defence (MOD) through a Government-owned Contractor Operated (GOCO) arrangement. Whilst our sites and facilities remain in government ownership, their management, day to day operations, and the maintenance of the nuclear stockpile is contracted to a private company AWE Management Limited (AWE ML). AWE ML is a consortium comprising three equal partners: Serco Group plc, the Lockheed Martin Corporation and Jacobs Engineering Group.

3.     For further information contact Media@AWE.co.uk or 01189855888.

 

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