Physics & Science Talks for Schools

Rock Guitar in 11 Dimensions

What causes the revolutionary, history-changing sound of rock guitar, and how does it help us to understand the nature of the stuff we’re made of? Famelab winner Mark Lewney explains the physics of rock using riffs from Vivaldi to AC/DC, explains the secret of the Stradivarius, and shows how string vibrations might lie at the heart of the Big Questions about the universe.

In this entertaining and mind-expanding lecture, acoustics expert Dr. Lewney explains the physics of vibrations with the help of props as diverse as an air-bazooka, a bullwhip and his custom Ibanez electric guitar through a Marshall amp, turned up loud, with live demonstrations of expert rock guitar playing throughout. Then Dr. Lewney shows how the vibrations of guitar strings might be applied to the particles we're all made of, but with a twist: the strings vibrate in extra dimensions! Charming stories and mind-bending animations are used to try to get the audience to think in 4-, 5- or even 11-D. This introduction to Superstring Theory shares the wonder and excitement of such grand scale, cutting edge physics and maths.

Ideal for schools studying KS3 and KS4 Physics


Between 25 and 60 minutes, by request. (45 mins is best).

Age range
Perfect for GCSE, A-level, university and adult audiences.
Excellent for 13+ (Year 9 onwards).
OK for 11-13 (Y7-8), but should be familiar with trigonometry.
Not really recommended for under 10s (despite past positive comments!)

How to book
If you’d like to invite Mark to deliver this talk, click on the 'Contact Me' tab at the top of each page. If Mark isn't available, visit to find other entertaining physics/maths performers who come highly recommended: