Bristol Physics Society (Chaos)

Chaos exists to provide a fun, supportive, and inclusive environment for students with a common interest in physics at the University of Bristol.  

Established in the 1930s, we have always been run by students for students. In this we have become one of the largest departmental societies at the University with over 800 active members in 2022. In recent years we have obtained numerous accolades including Committee Excellence (NSVA 2020), Best Society in the UK (NSA 2019), Best Academic and Careers Society (NSA 2018) and Best Academic Society (Bristol SU Awards 2020).   

Members typically study

  • Computing/Technology
  • Electronic/Electrical
  • Maths/Business
  • Science

The facts

Chaos was established in the 1930s.
We run our own coffee shop, Physbar, to raise money for charity and the society.
We have won 3 national awards including Committee Excellence Award (NSVA 2020), Best Society in the UK (NSA 2019), Best Academic and Careers Society (NSA 2018).
Chaos owns a Skywatcher Evostar 80ED DS-Pro telescope and HEQ5 PRO mount.
Chaos reached 800 active members in 2022.

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Get to know us

We have a strong focus on maintaining a supportive community for physicists and those interested in physics, facilitated by a wide variety of social events such as quiz nights, bar crawls, laser tag and more. Physball, our flagship event, has remained hugely popular, serving as a fantastic way to celebrate the end of TB1. Physbar, our volunteer-run coffee shop, has continued to serve as our main daily social hub, also serving as informal setting to chat with lecturers.   

Our academic offerings have strengthened in recent years, with regular academic talks and careers events. One major success was our virtual international conference which saw several guest speakers from around the world engage with our members on a wide variety of topics.

Our astronomy events have continued to be popular, particularly our stargazing events facilitated by our high-end telescope, serving as a fantastic introduction to our academic events each year.

We also run several trips, past ones including CERN, Štefánik’s Observatory, JET and Hinkley Point. This year we are excited to be working with the Faculty of Science and other science societies to run a summer competition where participants work in teams to solve industry problems and pitch their ideas to a panel of industry experts. 

Equality and Welfare ensures everything we do is inclusive and accessible. Our parenting scheme provides first years with connections in older years for any queries they may have, from social to academic concerns. We also have several networks including: BME, LGBTQ+ and Women’s. 


We are about to launch the Aegis Professor Undergraduate Competition, where science students will form teams to solve briefs posed by industry experts and present their solutions to a panel of judges. One such brief asks how we would solve a global copper shortage. We are open to having employers pose their own briefs and be involved in the judging for a contribution to the cash prize.

We have an ongoing series of academic talks by guest speakers ranging from quantum interference to astronomy to the data science driving football teams.

Using our telescope and astronomy skills, we are a good way towards photographing our solar system, including a shot of this year’s partial solar eclipse!

We also have an ongoing series of careers talks, where we invite Bristol Physics alumni to talk about how they have used their Physics degrees to advance their careers.

Social events

We run an annual Chaos bar crawl to help all the freshers to meet their course mates and get to know each other, as well as meet people in older years.

We also run a family scheme where freshers are buddied up with older members of the society to help them settle into the university in both an academic and social context. We then pit the families against each other in a scavenger hunt!

We run many informal socials as a society, including a large Christmas formal, a summer ball and a Halloween movie night.

Committee list

Eden Simkins – President
Arianna Margetts – Vice President
Téodóir Kempston – Secretary & LGBTQ+ Network Chair
Luke Monaghan – Treasurer
William Stafford – Talks Rep
Ash Baldwin – Trips Rep
Max Dolan – Promo & Design
Sam Haken – Equality and Welfare Officer
Giacomo Rossetti – Sponsorship and Careers Rep
Ken de Leon – Physball Rep
Will Crutchley – Promo & Publishing
Rachel Kane – Physbar Rep
Alex Dascombe-Olson – Astro Rep
Cathy Zhao – Physball Rep
Finn Holden – Social Secretary
Isaac Briggs – NPO
Vladimir Dementyev – Foundation Year Network Chair
Tabby Lickman – Women’s Network Chair

How to Join

If you would like to find out more, please email us at

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