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Department of Physics

The Cavendish Laboratory

In 2024, the Cavendish turns 150 years old. What significance does the department's history hold for you as a member of the Cavendish community? Do you perceive the Cavendish as a venerable institution with a rich history, or a youthful, ever-evolving hub of scientific innovation? Can you capture your perspective visually? If yes, and you would like to share it with the Cavendish community, then Cavendish photography competition 2023-24 is here.

The theme for this year’s competition is ‘150 years of excellence in the Cavendish’.

The competition is open to all Department staff (including professional staff), researchers and students. Below are the details of the prizes –

  • Head of Department prize of £300 Amazon Voucher
  • 1st prize – One winner will get £100 Amazon Voucher 
  • 2nd prize – Two winners will get £50 Amazon Voucher each
  • 3rd prize – Three winners will get £25 Amazon Voucher each

More about the theme and competition: 150 years of excellence in the Cavendish

The upcoming 150th anniversary of the Cavendish Laboratory is a remarkable milestone to celebrate the enduring spirit of scientific excellence that has characterised our institution since 1874. The laboratory has consistently been a trailblazer in the field of physics, maintaining its standing as one of the world's preeminent centres of research and innovation. This success can be attributed to the collective contributions of students and staff at all levels through the years, who have played various roles in shaping the laboratory's legacy.

The 2nd Cavendish photography competition will commemorate this legacy. The theme, ‘150 years of excellence in the Cavendish,’ invites staff and students to visually capture what the spirit of the Cavendish means to them. Participants are encouraged to draw inspiration from both the laboratory's rich history and its present activities.

Entries can take the form of photographs, moving images, or videos. Each submission must be accompanied by a title and a brief description or story that conveys its relevance to the theme. The emphasis is on originality, aesthetics, curiosity, and the ability to provoke or intrigue.

Winning entries will be prominently featured throughout the anniversary year, across various platforms, including the Department and University websites, newsletters, electronic screens, posters, and social media. They may also receive media coverage. Additionally, a significant number of entries will be showcased in web galleries, social media, the department website, and various Cavendish facilities, including the new Ray Dolby Centre.

All participants will be duly credited for their contributions.


Image and Credit: REACHing the First Stars by Dominic Anstey, 2022 Photography competition Second prize winner

The competition entry rules are as follows:

  1. The deadline for submission is February 29, 2024.
  2. Photographs must be submitted by email to
  3. Videos can be sent using a free, large file transfer service such as Dropbox or Wetransfer.
  4. In applicable (in case of entries related to current research or any other sensitive material), the entrant must include the following statement in the body of the email: I have checked with my manager/supervisor/DoS __________________ that I have permission to enter the attached photograph(s)/video(s) in the competition and give the Cavendish Laboratory, Department of Physics the right to publish the photograph(s)/videos(s) on its website and elsewhere.
  5. If the photographs/videos include any individuals, then due consent will need to be taken in writing. Please email to request a consent form. 
  6. AI generated images, partly or fully, will not be permitted in the competition. Any use of AI tools to partly edit an image should be disclosed by the participant (i.e. to remove or extend background, to change colour, etc.)
  7. The participant must also provide: 
    1. A title for their entries
    2. Description of the overall story as well as description for each individual photograph/moving image/video (if more than one is being submitted), noting whether the photograph is a composite of several images or has been enhanced in any way.

    3. Any due acknowledgements.
  8. More guidelines on the entries:
    1. Ideally, photographs should be of good print quality, but if it is available only as a web quality image then please still enter.
    2. There is no limit to the number of entries.
  9.  Please note that reconstructing images/ moving images from data will also be eligible for the photography competition. 
  10. The photography competition will be judged by a panel of physicists. The competition is open between 3 November 2023 and 29 February 2024. The winners will be announced in spring 2024.      


                                     Image and Credit: Pulse Laser Deposition by Steve Haws, 2022 Photography competition Third prize winner

Main Image and Credit: True Colors by Nicolas Gauriot, 2022 Photography competition HoD prize winner