Hi all. We hope you’re having an amazing summer holiday! In last week’s blog we asked a few students from the department to give us a freewheeling insight into just what they think makes the life of a physics student tick.

This time out we’re taking a closer look at what you can expect from your physics society over the coming year!

The sciences are renowned for being the most sociable of all the subjects at York, and Physics is without a doubt the best of the lot. And I’m not just saying that either! Our socials are the best, our lectures are the best and our students are the best. The department as a whole has a reputation for being one of the friendliest at the university. From undergrads to postgrads to the staff, there’s a positive atmosphere in the department – everyone gets on incredibly well, and it shows!

Indeed, every year the department themselves pull out all the stops to give you the best possible introduction to each other, where you’ll get to meet staff and each other for the first time at a huge freshers week party – PhysFest.

As for PhysSoc ourselves, every year we host a huge range of events, catering to as many people as possible. Whatever you’re into, there’ll be an event for you… and if you have any ideas for events then get in touch, because we’re always looking to expand our horizons!

Our weekly socials run the gamut from our legendary nights out, games and film nights through to meals out and our tongue in cheek department “quiz shows”. Our Christmas ball is a particular highlight of the calendar, and this year it’s going to be extra special, so keep your eyes peeled for updates on that!

We also have an amazing roster of academic events, from public lectures to trips to scientific facilities and revision sessions at exam times. This year a few of us will also be helping out at the weekly problem class drop in sessions – PUCS. We wouldn’t be a physics society without the physics!

In addition to all of this, we’ve also got something extra special planned with the other three main science societies this year. We are teaming up with Biology, Chemistry and Maths for a year long celebration of all things science at York! With a plethora of events in the pipeline, from our huge annual science night out – QuadraSci – to an inter-science University Challenge tournament, quiz nights… and, biggest of all, a mammoth Festival of Science in term two with a huge range of guest speakers every night for a week, as well as exhibitions, installations and all sorts of other sciencey goodness. It’s going to be massive!

But don’t let me babble on; below we have Ryan, our academic secretary, and Alex, one of our social secretaries, to give a bit more detail on what they’re putting together!

A word from your Academic Secretary

The JET fusion reactor at CCFE.

The JET fusion reactor at CCFE.

It’s PhysSoc’s job to do fantastic socials and get you engaged with Physics. We are, after all,  interested in Physics. Kind of in the name. So along with a myriad of bar crawls, meals out and game nights, yours truly will be frantically throwing together the academic side of our society events calendar.

The Physsoc public lecture series has been running for many years now and I am following in the footsteps of previous academic secretaries to keep them going strong. This year the key word is variety. We want to have talks which cover as many different topics as possible: Nuclear, Solid State, Biophysics, Medical Physics, and anything in between.

The majority of the talks will be from lecturers and academics in the York Physics department, with the possibility of guests from other Universities and institutions participating too. These lectures are open to everyone including the public, university staff and students on other degree courses.

Alongside these “traditional” lectures we’re planning some more relaxed talks in the campus bars, along with a day of lectures as part of the York Festival of Science happening in spring term.  Too help counter all the pre-exam stress we’ll be arranging revision sessions to motivate you to get studying…and then probably hit a campus bar as a reward. With all these events on campus PhysSoc is looking to get out and about planning trips to important UK science facilities. A trip to the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy (CCFE) in Oxford is already in the works, and a prospective trip to London is on the cards too!

Hopefully you’re assured that we’ll keep you intellectually stimulated and entertained for the coming year. Cannot wait for term to start and get the ball rolling! See you all soon!

— Ryan

A word from your Social Secretaries

PhysSoc socials are a fantastic way to get to know your coursemates and, especially in the first term, get to know York!

For the coming term, we’ve organised a range of nights out – and nights in of course. We’re bringing back a few old classics, as well as some new ones to make your Thursday night social the best social of the week. Fancy duct-taping your leg to someone else’s and going clubbing? Check! How about a pub crawl inspired by cold war physicists? We’ve got that for you too! Perhaps you’d rather have an evening in spent playing Club Penguin and Super Mario Brothers? Well you’re in luck.

From Laser Quest to a night out with the LGBTQ society, PhysSoc will be working hard to host some awesome nights for you, starting with our ‘Best of York’ crawl, where we’ll show off your PhysSoc committee’s favourite drinking spots around York, and topping the term off with the Winter Ball, a glamorous evening spent in York with students and lecturers. We can’t wait to get started!

— Alex


So there’s lots to look forward to! Your first year at Uni is going to be one of the best of your lives, and it’s our job to try and make it just that little bit better!

And don’t worry if you’re a little nervous about getting here, we all were too. For some of you it’s one of the biggest things you’ve ever done, but don’t forget that you’re all coming here together, and you’ll be stepping into one of the friendliest departments in the university, studying the best subject there is.

Our next blog is going to be from the staff perspective – we’ve pestered a few of the staff from the department to give their views on just what you can expect in your first year at York!

Until then, keep enjoying your summer!

— PhysSoc

Main image by João Pequenão at ATLAS, CERN