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Join us for evening dedicated to the magic of space. Our journey will begin by exploring the possibility of life on other planets with a talk on astrobiology, before leaving planets behind to learn about black holes. Our travel through space finally ends with discovering what dark matter is all about.
John Cooper (Comedian and illustrator)
Returning for compering duties is John Cooper. John is a stand up comedian and illustrator, with a fascination for communication. He's performed at over one hundred theatres around the UK, delivered workshops on how to build confidence through comedy and appropriate use of humour at work. He's not a scientist, but his natural curiosity for the interesting and unusual led him to getting involved with the Pint of Science festival in 2018.
The search for life beyond Earth
Dr Sophie Nixon (NERC Research Fellow)
Are we alone in the universe? One of humankind’s biggest unsolved mysteries, this question drives the interdisciplinary field of Astrobiology, dedicated to understanding origins, evolution and distribution of life in the cosmos. I will introduce some of the most extreme environments on Earth, and how the so-called ‘extremophiles’ that live life on the edge are guiding the search for life on Mars and the icy moons of Jupiter and Saturn. We will see these places through the eyes of ground-breaking planetary missions, and learn about the exciting next steps in the hunt for extraterrestrial life.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to Black Holes
Dr Rene Breton (Lecturer in Astrophysics)
Black holes are probably the astronomical objects that top every chart in terms of capturing people's imagination. How is it possible for something to absorb anything that falls within its boundaries, even light, without allowing it to escape? How do black holes form? Do black holes really exist? What would happen if someone was to fall into a black hole? This talk will offer a walkthrough for the non-scientist about the fundamental principles of black holes and will be the perfect opportunity to obtain an answer to all of the above questions, and more.
Using light to reveal the dark universe
Jesse Lui (PhD Student in Particle Physics)
What is the universe made of? Are there new laws of physics awaiting discovery? Among the most startling realisation of fundamental physics today is that 80% of the universe is missing. This missing substance is dark matter. It holds entire galaxies together, but what is it? Are there dark forces or dark atoms? New theories predict CERN's Large Hadron Collider could create dark matter by smashing protons and solve these mysteries. Remarkably, we can also use these protons to collide photons – particles of light – like shining two high energy lasers at each other to reveal the dark universe.