© Pint of Science, 2020. All rights reserved.
Tales of other worlds
Dr Oscar Barragan (Postdoctoral Research Assistant)
Over the course of his career, Oscar Barragan and his colleagues have discovered no fewer than 25 new exoplanets (planets outside of the solar system)! He completed his bachelor's degree in Physics and Master in Astrophysics at the University of Guanajuato in Mexico, before moving to the University of Turin in Italy to do a Ph.D in Physics and Astrophysics. His Ph.D. project was focused on the discovery and characterization of exoplanets. These days he works as a postdoc at the Department of Physics at the University of Oxford in the lab of Suzanne Aigrain.
It's "easy" to colonise the universe
Dr Stuart Armstrong (Alexander Tamas Fellow in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning)
Science fiction abounds with exotic new worlds, bravely explored by citizens of Earth, with Star Empires, Star Republics or Star Federations slowly expanding their zones of influence. These stories analogise the Earth eras of exploration and colonialisation, and so follow the same pattern - conflict over resources, building forward bases, lines of supply, and so on. But what if that picture was wrong, and it was much easier to colonise the universe, all at once, without even needing to stop along the way? Well, such a colonisation could be done, surprisingly easily and cheaply...