The Physics and Astronomy Section organised the following events for the 2017 British Science Festival:

Cassini: 20 years to Saturn
In September, the Cassini spacecraft will fall into Saturn, 20 years after its launch. Michele Dougherty, who was responsible for one of the key instruments on board, detailed the most exciting discoveries of the mission, from extra-terrestrial hurricanes to new moons which may be capable of supporting life.

Quantum leap: building the world's fasted computer
Earlier this year, a group of researchers led by Winfried Hensinger unveiled the first realistic blueprint for the construction of a large-scale quantum computer. Through live demonstrations, attendees heard and visualised how this exciting breakthrough has transformed quantum computing from a theoretical concept to a technology with the potential to solve problems a billion times quicker than today’s fastest supercomputers.

President 2017: Professor Michele Dougherty, Imperial College London
President 2016: Professor Philip Diamond, University of Manchester
President 2015: Professor Stephen Sweeney, University of Surrey
President 2014: Professor Louise Harra, University College London

Recorder: Dr. Chris Harrison, Durham University