08 Feb 2010 00:00:00.000
A series of public lectures exploring the mysteries of the universe has proved so popular it’s been extended till the end of 2010.
The University of Nottingham’s Astronomy Public Lecture Series began in May 2009 to celebrate the International Year of Astronomy, and introduced the public to some of the concepts that our physicists and astronomers wrestle with every day. These proved so popular — with up to 150 people attending the monthly events — that the School of Physics and Astronomy has decided to continue them.
The violent interactions of galaxies will be explored at the next event on Thursday February 18. Physicist Dr Meghan Gray will discuss work she does as part of a large collaboration that uses some of the most powerful telescopes on the ground and in space to understand galaxy evolution. When it comes to the processes that shape galaxies, what is more important — nature or nurture? Dr Gray will describe just how much a galaxy’s life is affected by the environment in which it lives.
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The following month, on Thursday March 18, Dr Anne Green will describe the hunt for particles that could be what scientists call “Dark Matter.” On Thursday April 22 Dr Tony Padilla will introduce us to the fascinating topic of extra dimensions in a talk titled “Parallel Worlds.”
Dr Amanda Bauer, an astronomer in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University, is organising the lecture series.
“We have some of the world’s best astronomers, mathematicians and physicists here at the University, doing some amazing research,” said Dr Bauer. “This is a chance for the public to learn about the work we do here, and to explore some of the mysteries of our universe. Lecturers assume no prior astronomical knowledge from members of the public — all you need is a healthy curiosity about how the universe works. Hundreds of people have attended these lectures over the past year, and we want to encourage even more to come along. Everyone’s welcome.”
The public lectures take place on the third Thursday of each month and run from 6-7pm, with a question and answer session following each lecture. Lectures take place in lecture theatre B1 in the Maths and Physics Building on University Park. No reservations are necessary and all lectures are free to the public. For more information and a full programme of events visit http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/astronomy/publictalks.html
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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 100 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and Times Higher (THE) World University Rankings.
More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to RAE 2008, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranks the University 7th in the UK by research power. In 27 subject areas, the University features in the UK Top Ten, with 14 of those in the Top Five.
The University provides innovative and top quality teaching, undertakes world-changing research, and attracts talented staff and students from 150 nations. Described by The Times as Britain's “only truly global university”, it has invested continuously in award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. Twice since 2003 its research and teaching academics have won Nobel Prizes. The University has won the Queen's Award for Enterprise in both 2006 (International Trade) and 2007 (Innovation — School of Pharmacy), and was named ‘Entrepreneurial University of the Year’ at the Times Higher Education Awards 2008.
Nottingham was designated as a Science City in 2005 in recognition of its rich scientific heritage, industrial base and role as a leading research centre. Nottingham has since embarked on a wide range of business, property, knowledge transfer and educational initiatives (www.science-city.co.uk) in order to build on its growing reputation as an international centre of scientific excellence. The University of Nottingham is a partner in Nottingham: the Science City.