Saturday Physics for Everyone

Saturday Physics for Everyone (SPE) is a series of lectures on modern aspects of the physical sciences held Saturday mornings each fall. The program began in 1993 and offers high school students the opportunity to hear presentations from world-class scientists and researchers.

By attending Saturday Physics for Everyone, you will learn about recent advances in the physical sciences, you will gain an understanding of how physics affects development in modern technology, and influences your life on a daily basis. A question and answer session is held at the end of each program. This is your chance to interact with renowned scientific leaders in the research community.

  • Audience: High school students and the general public.
  • Cost: Free of charge.
  • Time: 10:15 am to 11:30 am, unless indicated otherwise.
  • Location: Room 141, Loomis Laboratory of Physics, 1110 West Green Street, Urbana, IL
  • Parking: East side of building in lot B21.
  • Questions/comments? Email us at sat_physics@physics.illinois.edu.
  • Talk slides: When available, the slides from the professors' talks can be found linked from the individual events below.
Event Title Speaker Date/Time Location
Saturday Physics for Everyone: When Stars Attack! Radioactive evidence for a near-Earth supernova explosion.

Professor Brian Fields, Department of Astronomy and Department of Physics, University of Illinois

9/9/2017
10:15 am

141 Loomis Laboratory

Saturday Physics for Everyone: Visualization in Science, Technology and the Arts

Professor Donna Cox, University of Illinois Michael Aiken Endowed Chair, Director of the Illinois Emerging Digital Research and Education in Arts Media Institute (eDream), Director of the Advanced Visualization Laboratory at NCSA, Professor in the School of Art and Design at the College of FAA

9/23/2017
10:15 am

141 Loomis Laboratory

Saturday Physics for Everyone: Radiation, friend or foe?

Professor Kevin Pitts, Department of Physics, University of Illinois

10/7/2017
10:15 am

141 Loomis Laboratory

Saturday Physics for Everyone: Nuclear Proliferation: Can terrorists buy, steal or build a nuclear bomb?

Professor Matthias Grosse Perdekamp, Department of Physics, University of Illinois

10/21/2017
10:15 am

141 Loomis Laboratory

Saturday Physics for Everyone: How Small Can We Go? The physics behind nanoscale electronics

Professor Nadya Mason, Department of Physics, University of Illinois

11/4/2017
10:15 am

141 Loomis Laboratory

Saturday Physics for Everyone: Understanding Nature's Micro Swimmers

Professor Yann Chemla, Department of Physics, University of Illinois

12/2/2017
10:15 am

141 Loomis Laboratory

Event Title Speaker Date/Time Location
Saturday Physics for Everyone: Exoplanets

Professor Jon Thaler, Physics Department

9/10/2016
10:15 am

141 Loomis Laboratory of Physics, 1110 West Green Street, Urbana, IL 61801

Saturday Physics for Everyone: Visualizing the Amazing Quantum World

Professor Vidya Madhavan, Physics Department

9/24/2016
10:15 am

141 Loomis Laboratory of Physics, 1110 West Green Street, Urbana, IL 61801

Saturday Physics for Everyone: What can theoretical physics tell us about the evolution of early life?

Professor Nigel Goldenfeld, Physics Department, Director, NASA Astrobiology Institute for Universal Biology

10/8/2016
10:15 am

141 Loomis Laboratory of Physics, 1110 West Green Street, Urbana, IL 61801

Saturday Physics for Everyone: Black Holes, Gravitational Waves, and LIGO

Professor Edward Seidel, Physics Department, Director, National Center for Supercomputing Applications

10/22/2016
10:15 am

141 Loomis Laboratory of Physics, 1110 West Green Street, Urbana, IL 61801

Saturday Physics for Everyone: The Hidden Universe: Dark Matter and Dark Energy

Professor Jeffrey Filippini, Physics Department

11/5/2016
10:15 am

141 Loomis Laboratory of Physics, 1110 West Green Street, Urbana, IL 61801

Saturday Physics for Everyone: Visit to the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) where the Higgs Boson was Found.

Professor Verena Martinez Outshoorn, Physics Department

12/3/2016
10:15 am

141 Loomis Laboratory of Physics, 1110 West Green Street, Urbana, IL 61801

Event Title Speaker Date/Time Location
Saturday Physics for Everyone: "The First Galaxies in the Universe and the ALMA Telescope"

Professor Joaquin Vieira, Astronomy Department, and Faculty Associate, Physics Department

9/12/2015
10:15 am

 Room 141, Loomis Laboratory of Physics, 1110 West Green Street, Urbana, IL

Saturday Physics for Everyone: "Building Emergent Biological Machines"

Professor Rashid Bashir,  Abel Bliss Professor of Engineering and Head Department of Bioengineering

9/26/2015
10:15 am

 Room 141, Loomis Laboratory of Physics, 1110 West Green Street, Urbana, IL

Saturday Physics for Everyone: "Hunting for the Elusive Neutrino"

Professor Liang Yang, Physics Department

10/10/2015
10:15 am

 Room 141, Loomis Laboratory of Physics, 1110 West Green Street, Urbana, IL

Saturday Physics for Everyone: "How Laws, Sausages, and Science are Made: an Inside View of How Science Really Works"

Professor Peter Abbamonte, Physics Department

10/24/2015
10:15 am

 Room 141, Loomis Laboratory of Physics, 1110 West Green Street, Urbana, IL

Saturday Physics for Everyone: "I'm Beginning to See the Light: Properties and Applications of our Friendly Photons"

Professor Paul G. Kwiat, Physics Department

11/7/2015
10:15 am

 Room 141, Loomis Laboratory of Physics, 1110 West Green Street, Urbana, IL

Saturday Physics for Everyone: "How to Train your Photon"

Professor Virginia Lorenz, Physics Department

12/5/2015
10:15 am

 Room 141, Loomis Laboratory of Physics, 1110 West Green Street, Urbana, IL

Event Title Speaker Date/Time Location
Saturday Physics for Everyone: Decisions, Decisions: How Cells Sense Their Environment and Make Decisions to Adapt and Respond

Professor Thomas E. Kuhlman

9/13/2014
10:15 am

141 Loomis Laboratory, 1110 W. Green Street, Urbana, IL 61801

Saturday Physics for Everyone: This Old Zero-Net-Energy House

Professor Scott S. Willenbrock

9/27/2014
10:15 am

141 Loomis Laboratory, 1110 W. Green Street, Urbana, IL 61801

Saturday Physics for Everyone: Everyone Loves Science

Professor Mats A. Selen

10/11/2014
10:15 am

141 Loomis Laboratory, 1110 W. Green Street, Urbana, IL 61801

Saturday Physics for Everyone: When Stars Attack! In Search of Killer Supernova Explosions

Professor Brian D. Fields, Astronomy and Physics

10/25/2014
10:15 am

141 Loomis Laboratory, 1110 W. Green Street, Urbana, IL 61801

Saturday Physics for Everyone: Building Mountains: How Forces in the Earth Raise Rock Miles into the Sky

Professor Stephen Marshak, Professor of Geology, Director, School of Earth, Society, & Environment

11/8/2014
10:15 am

141 Loomis Laboratory, 1110 W. Green Street, Urbana, IL 61801

Saturday Physics for Everyone: Magnets and Big Machines: The Use of Neutrons to Explore Magnetism in New Materials

Professor Gregory MacDougall

12/6/2014
10:15 am

141 Loomis Laboratory, 1110 W. Green Street, Urbana, IL 61801

Search Saturday Physics Events

You may also like Saturday Engineering for Everyone offered in the spring semester.

Be sure to sign up for an NCSA tour "Artful 3D animations of scientific phenomena" offered all year long.