The Annual Science Lecture: A Fusion of Entertainment and Top Secrets Posted - 26/03/2019


The Physics Department welcomed Old Reedonian, Richard Johnson, to talk at this year’s Annual Science Lecture. He has spent 20 years working at the Atomic Weapons Establishment and is privy to such sensitive information that all members of the audience had to hand in their phones to ensure the presentation wasn’t recorded, risking National Security. Richard took a rapt audience of Fifth and Sixth Form scientists through a whirlwind tour of the theory behind harnessing energy, atomic fission and fusion; the techniques used by British Scientists to develop nuclear warheads and, his area of specialty, the procedures put in place to keep those devices as safe as possible. By throwing around a kilogram of chocolate, pulsing a slinky into a tub of water, flicking double-headed coins, and getting pupils to navigate a maze to release nuclear keycodes, Richard effortlessly proved that there is no need to ‘fission’ about to make nuclear science fascinating.

Will Pope, Head of Physics

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