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Wednesday, 23 November 2011, 1:00PM
Museum of London

The Sounds of the Universe

Professor Carolin Crawford

In space no-one can hear you scream... but it is still a noisy Universe. We are familiar with the many stunning images of space, but these are only part of the whole human experience. This lecture takes a new approach to appreciating the Universe, through the vehicle of sound. Once we understand how sound is propagated, we can look at the how and where it can exist in space. We examine how sound can be a diagnostic of cosmic phenomena (such as the song of the Sun and distant stars), the way it can carry energy across vast volumes of space (away from a black hole humming in B♭), how it can be a useful way to illustrate processes in astronomy (such as the rapid spin of pulsars, and other more local radio emissions) and how it is ultimately responsible for the growth of all structure we see today in the cosmos.

professor-carolin-crawford

Outreach Officer at the Institute of Astronomy and Fellow of Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge, and Emeritus Gresham Professor of Astronomy, Carolin Crawford is one of Britain's foremost science communicators.

After receiving her PhD from Newnham College, Cambridge, Professor Crawford went on to a series of fellowships from Balliol College, Oxford, Trinity Hall, Cambridge and the Royal Society. In 2004 she was appointed as a Fellow and College Lecturer at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, where she is now also the undergraduate Admissions Tutor for the Physical Sciences. Since 2005 she has combined her college role with that of Outreach Officer at the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Cambridge.

Professor Crawford’s primary research interests are in combining X-ray, optical and near-infrared observations to study the physical processes occurring around massive galaxies at the core of clusters of galaxies. In particular, she observes the complex interplay between the hot intra-cluster medium, filaments of warm ionized gas, cold molecular clouds, star formation and the radio plasma flowing out from the central supermassive black hole.

In 2009 Professor Crawford’s outstanding abilities at science communication were recognized by a Women of Outstanding Achievement Award by the UK Resource Centre for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology, presented for “communication of science with a contribution to society.”

Appointed as the 36th Gresham Professor of Astronomy in 2011, Professor Crawford delivered a series of free public lectures where she carried out her intention “to showcase the very latest developments and ideas in astronomy and cosmology, whilst putting them into the context of the process of scientific discovery.”

All of Professor Crawford's past Gresham lectures can be accessed here.

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23 November 2011

The Sounds of the Universe
Professor Carolin Crawford

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