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This physics summer course aims to introduce students to aspects of physics beyond what is taught in most schools, introducing them to topics encountered at a degree level in order to give an impression of the current state of modern physics and its most intellectually challenging -and rewarding- aspects.

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Course Summary

The class contains very little overlap with conventional high school physics. The physics covered in high school is over two hundred years old. It can be archaic and boring, yet physics today is on the brink of exciting new discoveries. For students to gain an appreciation of physics, it is best that they are exposed to the ideas and problems of modern physics which are covered in class.

Session Format

The structure of this physics summer course is based mainly on discussion and worksheets. Problem solving in groups captures the activity of research physics well, and this is why group worksheets in class are an important part of the curriculum. The homework and presentation give the students further opportunity to test their understanding, and to research and explain to their peers topics not covered in the classes.

During the first four days, the underlying ideas of relativistic physics are introduced. During the next three days quantum physics is introduced and analysed from perspectives of philosophy and technological applications. On the remaining days, a survey of other major areas of physics is offered for discussion.

Course Outcomes

What will you get out of the Physics Summer Course?

In addition to expanding their knowledge of physics, students will learn how to solve basic problems in relativistic physics and quantum physics; develop the conceptual sense to resolve common paradoxes in these fields; understand how these fundamentals are used to comprehend the world around us; gain a superficial understanding of some of the most important areas of modern physics; become familiar with some unsolved problems in physics, such as those currently being investigated at the Large Hadron Collider in CERN; and gain experience in researching and presenting a topic.


As the content of the course should be new to most high school students, unfamiliarity with the topics listed below should not discourage a student from taking this course; these requirements should be seen as preferable rather than mandatory.

Mathematical background required: basic algebraic manipulation; basic trigonometry; vector algebra; knowledge of differential and integral calculus an advantage but not necessary by any means.

Physics background required: displacement, velocity and acceleration; Newton’s Laws of Motion; conservation of energy; conservation of momentum; simple harmonic motion; waves.


Oxford College Accommodation

  • Location Oxford
  • Ages Ages: 12+, 13-15, 16-18, 19+
  • Bedroom Type Single and twin
  • Bathroom Type En-suite & Shared (single gender)
  • Year Built Founded in 1096 (University of Oxford)

Cambridge University Accommodation

  • Location Cambridge
  • Ages Ages: 13-15, 16-18
  • Bedroom Type Single and twin
  • Bathroom Type En-suite & shared (single gender)
  • Year Built Founded in 1209 (University of Cambridge)

Imperial College London

  • Location London
  • Ages Ages: 16-18
  • Bedroom Type Single
  • Bathroom Type En-suite
  • Year Built Founded in 1907

Further Information

How to Enrol

Physics is part of the Broadening Horizons programme.

To visit Broadening Horizons and take Physics as a course option, just click the button below and follow the instructions.

Broadening Horizons

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