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Education and outreach

Temporary exhibition – Building the Universe: One Block at a Time

Uncover the secrets of the atom in our free temporary exhibition, developed by the University of York. 

When? 4 – 27 February 2020, Monday – Friday 10am–6pm* 

Where? Institute of Physics, 37 Caledonian Road, London N1 9BU

*Exhibition closes at 4pm on 10 February and is closed on 11 and 13 February


Explore the Universe…using LEGO®!

From the stars to medicine, to electricity generation, discover how nuclear physics has shaped the world around you. Featuring a 7-metre long LEGO® model containing over 25,000 LEGO® bricks, this exhibition explores inside the atom.

Join the Binding Blocks team from the University of York’s Department of Physics and see the elements like never before. You’ll even have the chance to see the nuclear chart in the virtual world of Minecraft.

This pop-up exhibition will be on show at our flagship King’s Cross building throughout February 2020 and is recommended for ages 12+.

Open during February half term (17-21 February) with an expert explainer on-hand to answer your nuclear physics questions drop in for a chat!

Find out more about the Binding Blocks project

Learn more about nuclear physics

lego model

Events programme

All events are free and take place at our King’s Cross building. If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact exhibitions@iop.org or call 020 7470 4915.

Evening talk and exhibition late opening
Atomic Nuclei: how many, how big, how old?

Thursday 13 February, 6.30 – 8pm

Hosted by Dr Arnau Rios Huguet, Department of Physics, University of Surrey

How can looking inside the atom tell us about some of the biggest things in the Universe? How does chemistry work? The answers to this are held in the tiny core of the atom, the nucleus. In this talk, we’ll go on a guided tour of the elements, explore their nuclei and how they behave. Discover how understanding atomic nuclei helps us understand some of the biggest questions in physics.

*Please note the exhibition is closed during the day on 13 February.

Book your place

Family Day: Building the Universe One Block at a Time

Tuesday 18 February, 10am–4pm

Join us for a day exploring the building blocks of our Universe with hands-on activities for all the family. Play games on our iPads, find out about the life of a star through storytelling, get involved with craft activities, quiz our nuclear physicists, and venture into virtual worlds in Minecraft.

This event is recommended for families with children aged 7 and above.

Drop in or register online

Evening talk and exhibition late opening
From the Big Bang to the Current Universe: exploring the visible matter surrounding us

Tuesday 18 February, 6.30–8pm

Hosted by Dr Rachel Montgomery, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Glasgow

Atomic nuclei make up almost all of the visible matter surrounding us, spanning from the molecules of our very own DNA, to the elements which make up stars and galaxies. Nuclear physicists are striving to understand how nuclei are formed, how they behave and the complex ways in which they are held together. Explore the exciting field of nuclear physics and find out about current work trying to recreate the conditions of the Universe just after the Big Bang.

Book your place