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What makes up our universe? Well, Carl Sagan once said “We’re made of star-stuff!” During this event we will explore how more than 90% of atoms in our bodies were once formed inside stars. You will learn about the different types of stars and their life-cycles, before learning more about our own Sun. Finally, we will look into dark matter, and how it helps us to uncover the mystery of what our cosmos is made of. Please note that this event takes place on the ground floor and is accessible for those with impaired mobility. Alcohol, hot and cold drinks will be on offer and there will cakes and s...
Galaxies to Atoms
Dr Susan Cartwright (Senior Lecturer in Particle Physics and Astrophysics)
As the song goes, "we are stardust", about 90% of the mass of your body was made in stars. Some of it was produced by stars not much larger than the Sun, but some was cooked up in the heart of an exploding star, or perhaps produced in the merger of two neutron stars - exotic objects in which about one and a half time the mass of our Sun is squashed into the space between Sheffield and Chesterfield. In this talk, I will explain why a whole galaxy of stars is needed to provide the materials that make up our planet and ourselves.
1,000,000 degrees with a chance of solar flares
Matthew Allcock (PhD Student in School of Mathematics and Statistics)
Our Sun displays some of the most dynamic and extreme events in the solar system. I will present a weather report of interesting solar weather phenomena e.g. solar wind, coronal rain, and the immense heat of the solar atmosphere that defies explanation after decades of research. We will look back through history at how the largest solar weather events have left their mark on the Earth. We will aim to understand why such violent weather phenomena occur and how they can have catastrophic consequences on Earth. Are we overdue the next major solar event? Are we prepared?
How to search for Dark Matter with the Large Hadron Collider
Dr Callum Macdonald (Department of Physics and Astronomy)
Our universe is truly mysterious; in terms of matter, we only know what a mere 15% of it. This means that 85% of matter in our universe is unaccounted for – this is Dark Matter. The theoretical framework of supersymmetry (SUSY) may account for this. SUSY predicts that many more heavy, weakly interacting particles exist and are waiting to be discovered. In this talk I will explain how proton-proton collisions generated by the Large Hadron Collider are being used to search for evidence of the elusive Dark Matter that surrounds you every day.