The laws of physics may be stated in simple and elegant ways that can be made easy to demonstrate and understand on their own. What is immensely hard to predict from first principles are the consequences of the combinations of these laws acting in concert together, and the richness of the exotic phenomena that we can observe to evolve in the night sky.
This talk will examine why laws are simple and how the combination of simple laws can lead to rich complexity.
No reservations are required for this lecture. It will be run on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.
Doors will open 30 minutes before the start of the lecture
Katherine was appointed Gresham Professor of Astronomy in 2019. She is a Professor of Astrophysics at Oxford University and a Research Fellow at St John's College. Before this she was one of the Royal Society's University Research Fellows, a Research Fellow of the 1851 Royal Commission, and a Junior Research Fellow at Balliol College, Oxford.
Her research interests include the evolution of active galaxies and their life cycles, the accretion of material near black holes and the launch and propagation of relativistic jets (jets of plasma emitted by some black holes). In her research she uses electromagnetic imaging and spectroscopy, as well as computational techniques.
She is also a renowned science communicator and set up a worldwide network of five schools-based Global Jet Watch observatories, which collect data on evolving black hole systems and nova explosions in our Galaxy, helping to inspire the next generation of scientists in South Africa, Chile, Australia and India.
Her awards include a Philip Leverhulme Prize in Astrophysics, the Royal Society's Rosalind Franklin Medal in 2010, the Institute of Physics Bragg Medal in 2012, the Royal Astronomical Society's Darwin Lectureship in 2015 and an OBE for services to astronomy and the education of young people in 2017.
Blundell's first lecture series for Gresham College is called Cosmic Concepts, starting 2 October 2019, and she will be looking at how concepts developed in physics and cosmology have led to some of our most surprising discoveries about the Universe.
Professor Blundell's lecture series are as follows:
2019/20 Cosmic Concepts
All lectures by the Gresham Professors of Astronomy can be accessed here.