Physics workshops

undergraduate students in rrsic physics lab

Physics 2.5 Radioactivity

To support Year 12 students studying atomic and nuclear physics, UC collaborates with Rutherford's Den to provide a curriculum-linked set of activities. In June/July 2019 we trialled a co-location of Rutherford’s Den educational programme alongside our radioactivity workshops. That arrangement received very positive feedback and we are thrilled to be able welcome Rutherford’s Den back to UC in 2020.

To make full use of the workshop and the Rutherford’s Den session we recommend that your students have done at least some of the work for the Physics 2.5 standard.

The package comprises:

  • 1 hour 45 min workshop session, in the brand new laboratories in the Ernest Rutherford building run by the School of Physical and Chemical Sciences at UC, using radioactive sources and Geiger counters to investigate the absorption of beta and gamma radiation by biological materials, along with a second activity measuring the half-life of a short-lived copper isotope.
  • 1 hour 30 min session with the team from Rutherford's Den, learning about Ernest Rutherford, his gold foil experiment and the progression of scientific ideas on the structure of the atom. $5 per student. These sessions include activities that demand quite a depth of understanding. Students need an understanding of the Models of the Atom and The Geiger–Marsden/Rutherford’s Gold Foil Experiment.
  • A tour of the , highlighting pathways into careers and opportunity to look around the campus.

Many teachers use the day to prepare for or to assess the Physics 2.5 standard. A maximum group size is 30 so we would split you into two groups per day if you have +30 - 60 students visiting.

Book as many sessions as early as possible to allow sufficient planning time, especially for Rutherford’s Den who have to relocate their resources from the Arts Centre. 

To expedite this we request you book as soon as possible by contacting physical-chemical-outreach@canterbury.ac.nz with your preferred option(s). At this stage, we only require your school’s name, main contact name/email and preferred half/full day choice(s). An estimate of numbers attending based on previous workshops would be of assistance, but not necessary.

Available 2020 dates

  • Monday 3 February - Wednesday 12 February 2020 (recommended for extension students*)
  • Monday 6 April - Thursday 9 April 2020
  • Tuesday 2 June - Friday 3 July 2020
  • Monday 24 August - Friday 4 September 2020
  • Monday 19 October - Friday 6 November 2020

*Students that have already covered the work in the Physics 2.5 standard

View our live booking list to identify if your preferred option is available to be booked before making your request. Once we have placed your booking we will let you know and the live list status will be updated automatically.

Interested in booking a Physics 2.5 Radioactivity workshop?

Get in touch!