This is the CHaOS demonstrator website, mainly intended for our student volunteers. Click here if you were looking for our main front page.

An overview of "Physics Zone" (for CHaOS volunteers)

The biggest CHaOS event at the Cambridge Science Festival is "Crash, Bang, Squelch!" on the Saturday after lectures finish in Lent term, but we also help out at the "Physics Zone" at the West Cambridge site the following Saturday. As this is about 10 days after lectures finish most of our volunteers are usually PhD students or undergrads who are staying through the holidays.

Our hands-on experiments are usually part of a larger event that includes family lectures and craft-based activities. (In our non-biased view we're clearly the best bit though!). Usually the event is open to the public from 1-5pm, and we'll give you lunch before and pizza afterwards if you help with set-up and clear-up.

We release a sign up form for the "Physics Zone" in Lent term each year (so usually in January/February). This will be linked from our main demonstrator homepage, which you can find here. If you sign up to our mailing list (instructions are here) you'll get an email telling you when the signup form is available.

**What exactly does it involve?**
We'll have lots of our favourite of hands-on experiments that we've designed to demonstrate interesting scientific principles. You might find yourself demonstrating how bridges stay up, why some things glow in the dark or even introducing children to Boris the skeleton (as part of x-rays, as that's Physics!). The ideas are simple, but with enthusiastic and interested demonstrators we can show children that science isn't a 'boring' subject.

We'll have a Physics bias with the experiments we choose, but biologists are still more than welcome! The event is open from the public from 1-5pm, and we'd ask you to be available a bit either side of this to allow for a short briefing and set-up/ clear-up. We'll confirm nearer the day, but there's a pretty good chance you'll get a free lunch if you turn up on time!

**I've never done anything like this before... will I be any good?**
No experience is necessary, and every year we have loads of people who haven't done CHaOS before. If you're a scientist (including mathmos, vets, medics, engineers or compscis) you already know more than enough to demonstrate. The experiments have interesting and useful descriptions to explain the science and if you are unsure you can always ask one of the friendly committee members.

**Sounds great! How do I sign up?**
Sign up is at THIS PAGE
The sign up page will be online 6-8 weeks before the event: if you sign up to our mailing list (instructions are here) you'll get an email telling you when the signup form is available.

You will be able to tell us which experiments you want to do before the event, and there's lots of other information about CHaOS and the experiments on our main demonstrator website- please have a look to find out what we do! Also, why not get your friends to sign up too?

If you've got any questions about Crash Bang Squelch!, or about CHaOS generally, please get in touch with us at

PS: As our photo from a previous CHaOS event shows, you never know who you might find wandering round our Physics experiments...

Photo of Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking visits last year's IoP December event