Luke Hasler is a Physics MSci student and treasurer of PsiStar, the Queen Mary Physics Society. We sat down to learn more about the Society and how it works.
PsiStar is the Physics Society at Queen Mary. We have regular talks on topics not typically taught in lectures (for example, getting background info on what your lecturers are researching, women, LGBT and BAME people in physics, the history of physics, etc). We also have plenty of social activities and an annual trip abroad to learn about physics around the world. We aim to expand students' knowledge of physics whilst providing an excellent platform for people to socialise and improve their employability. We are open to all students and we consider ourselves to be a very accepting and diverse society, as one of the largest in the University. You can join PsiStar at any time throughout the year by applying through our society page on the Queen Mary website.
PsiStar had already won the award for Best Academic Society of the Year in the Queen Mary Student Union Societies Awards and when I saw the wide variety of social and academic activities the society got up to, I was instantly hooked. I wasn’t disappointed – I soon found that the community that exists in the society is so incredibly friendly and welcoming. Many of my friends were joining and I had heard that the PsiStar Boat Ball down the Thames would be exceptional (which it really was!). As a student about to enter university, I was also very keen to make new friends with interests similar to my own and I knew that PsiStar would be a fantastic way of meeting new people so I quickly signed up.
My favourite memory was getting to walk around a full scale replica of the International Space Station and then visit the spot where Martian rovers are being tested. It was truly awe inspiring to get to be one of the first groups to visit this facility and delve into my childhood fascination with the endless expanses of space!
The trip to Amsterdam was amazing as it let me expand my knowledge of how the European Space Agency conducts much of its research and allowed me to experience a new culture with new friends who I got to make on the trip. My favourite memory was getting to walk around a full scale replica of the International Space Station and then visit the spot where Martian rovers are being tested. It was truly awe inspiring to get to be one of the first groups to visit this facility and delve into my childhood fascination with the endless expanses of space! The PsiStar annual ball was held on the Thames last year and it was a wonderful way to celebrate the end of the academic year in style! It was a sensational night enjoyed by all.
When you start your degree, many people will ask you what your main interests are and it’s difficult to answer because the sheer number of options is massive. Our lectures help to provide some background knowledge of Physics which will help you to better understand what truly interests you and will then help you to decide what path you want to take. When I started studying here I thought I wanted to be an astronomer but now I am far more interested in theoretical physics and a large part of why my mind has changed is because of the PsiStar lectures. Additionally, employability seminars held by the Society in partnership with the Institute of Physics (IOP) and PhD talks have helped me to better understand the options available to me once I have graduated. In particular, an IOP talk on becoming a Physics teacher helped me better understand the routes to becoming a teacher.
If you are unsure about joining then understand that the community of the Society is the most friendly and close that I’ve ever seen. PsiStar complements a Physics student’s studies perfectly but is great fun for people outside of Physics as well. We were nominated for Best Society at the National Society Awards 2019 and won Best Academic Society in the Queen Mary Student Union Societies Awards two years in a row. We are closely aligned to the Department of Physics and Astronomy and make a real effort to make your time in the Society as fun and enlightening as possible. As part of PsiStar, you’ll gain a truly rounded knowledge of physics, all while meeting tonnes of great people and having fun. I can’t wait to see you in September!