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Tonight's talk will be a roller coaster ride through the fascinating world of the different branches of physics. We'll be taking a journey to the centre of the atom via a high flying space balloon and ultimately going supernova! Not to be missed!
How do we take a journey into the centre of the atom? State-of-the-art nuclear physics laboratories
Dr Dan Doherty (Lecturer)
The nucleus lies at the heart of an atom and accounts for nearly all its mass. Nuclear physics is the study of these atomic nuclei, their constituents, and their interactions and, thus, has strong connections to fundamental physics, energy generation and nuclear astrophysics – namely the origin of the chemical elements. However, despite being over one hundred years old, the field of nuclear physics still has a number of critical outstanding questions. In order to address these questions, we perform experiments at particle accelerator laboratories around the world.
Scientific Space Balloon - Extreme Laboratories
From floating high above the Earth’s surface to reaching the deepest trench in the ocean floor, Auguste Piccard spent his career engineering new equipment to venture into hostile environments. Piccard was the inspiration behind a Tintin character, stamps were made in his honour and he even made it in science fiction! In this talk we follow the adventurous flights and high-altitude experiments of Piccard as he took a lab into the sky to measure cosmic-rays. Back here on the ground I will share how we exploit cosmic rays to image the unseen, ending with my own space balloon adventure.
Explosions in the sky - From a cosmologist point of view
Supernovae, the explosive deaths of stars, are an amazing sceptical in the night sky. They have been fascinating astronomers since ancient times. Now cosmologists use them to accurately measure distances in the Universe. Supernovae were actually used to discover that the whole Universe is accelerating in its expansion. Heather will discuss new methods developed to classify these explosions and how we are improving them for use in cosmology. Plus, hear about some other exciting discoveries we made along the way with the Gaia ESA satellite.