Physics Summer School

Deep Space series. Backdrop design of nebula stars and colors to provide supporting composition for works on astronomy science space and religion“The primordial constituents combine together to infinity like the letters of a cosmic alphabet to tell the immense history of galaxies, of the innumerable stars, of sunlight, of mountains, woods and fields of grain, of the smiling faces of the young at parties and the night sky studded with stars. Who knows which other extraordinary complexities exist, in forms perhaps impossible for us to imagine, in the endless spaces of the cosmos. Here, on the edge of what we know, in contact with the ocean of the unknown, shines the mystery and the beauty of the world. And it’s breathtaking.”

Carlo Rovelli


Physics attempts to explain the natural world, from the smallest quantum particles to the largest spiral galaxies, from the inner workings of your laptop computer to the dazzling explosion of a dying star. Physicists look at the big questions: Why are we here? How did the universe begin? How will it end? What is everything made from? Why is the past different from the future? Are we alone in the Universe? Is there a Grand Unified Theory capable of explaining everything? It is by asking these questions, and seeking answers, that human beings have begun to understand and appreciate the underlying fabric of reality.

The Physics Summer School is an opportunity for students to explore some of the most exciting and challenging ideas in contemporary physics. Each course consists of a structured 5-day programme covering a selection of interesting and diverse topics, ranging from black holes and time travel to the search for exo-planets and life outside our solar system.

Physics Summer School – Part 1 focuses on Classical Mechanics and Astrophysics and is open to students aged 15-18.

A full schedule for this course will be available soon.

Physics Summer School – Part 2 focuses on Quantum Mechanics and Relativity and requires that students have completed a minimum of AS Mathematics (or equivalent) at the time of the course.

A full schedule for this course will be available soon.

Classes are small, typically containing twelve to fourteen students, all of whom will share a passion for physics and a curiosity to build on their existing knowledge and embrace new ideas. Classes will consist of a combination of lectures, group discussions, team games and problem sets, creating a comfortable environment for students to share ideas amongst their peers and to progress from their existing knowledge toward more challenging material. An expert Tutor will lead each session in a seminar format, but learning will be largely student-led wherever practical.

Please note that, although both courses complement each other, they may be treated as independent events and there is no requirement to have attended Part 1 in order to attend Part 2. Part 2 of the course will offer a strong mathematical component and an undergraduate approach to learning, helping students to make informed decisions about continuing in the study of physics, as well as bridging the educational gap between secondary school and university.

‘The Debate Chamber Physics course was both challenging and stimulating and one which provided a firm grounding on some cutting edge, modern physics. We were taught about both the very large and very small, from special and general relativity to quantum mechanics and the philosophical interpretations of the measurement problem. I would thoroughly recommend this course to anyone contemplating studying the subject at university or to anyone who just wants to learn some physics!’

‘The course was brilliant; usually complex and abstract topics in Physics were explained to you in the space of five days! The courses built upon the knowledge you had and decided to push you a little extra. They really inspired me to further research more complex topics in Physics in greater detail.’

‘Challenging, but great fun, the Physics course was a fantastic opportunity to gain a better insight into some of the fundamental principles that govern our world, giving me a better idea of what Physics at University might be like. From learning about the rather abstract world of Quantum Mechanics to discussing black holes and even teleportation, the course left me astounded by both the amount we already know, and how much we have yet to discover! I really enjoyed the five days, working with two talented tutors and meeting some other like-minded students. Overall, an incredible week.’

Practical Details

Part 1 of the course is open to all students aged 15-18, and Part 2 is open to students who have completed a minimum of AS Mathematics (or equivalent) at the time of the course.

Part 1 of the course will take place 16th – 20th July (and repeated 13th – 17th August) 2018.

Part 2 of the course will take place 23rd – 27th July (and repeated 20th – 24th August) 2018.

The venue for this course is the University of London, Bloomsbury Campus, Central London – you can see more venue and travel details here.

The cost of the Physics Summer School is £475 per student for five days, or book both Parts of the course (if eligible) for £850. Please note that accommodation is not included, and must be arranged independently if required. Bookings for any event may be made by individual students or parents or through the school.

Partial fees bursaries are available for students who would otherwise face financial barriers to attending the course – please see here for details.

To book a place or places at the Physics Summer School, or if you have any further questions, simply call on 0845 519 4827, email, or use the form below.

Booking Form

Debate Chamber offers a limited number of full and partial bursaries to students who could not otherwise afford to attend. If you are applying for a bursary please do not complete this form, but instead complete the ‘Bursary Application Form’ here.

Please note that we have been experiencing some issues with sending our booking confirmations to hotmail accounts. If possible, please use a non-hotmail address or if you do enter a hotmail address please check your spam folder for the booking confirmation.
Please see the notes under 'practical details' for information on the level of individual study sufficient for this course.