Astronomical Physics

Year 13 attended the Durham University school of Physics Christmas lecture last week, where Dr Pete Edwards lead a group of academics through their work, with world leading specialists and a variety of strange and exciting experiments. The topic of this year’s lecture was, ‘Decoding the Spectrum: Saving Civilisation from Solar Storms’ and revealed the lengths that scientists have gone to study the sun, it’s composition and potential threats which solar flares and other processes may have on life as we know it. While fast-paced and complicated, the lecture left an impression of awe and amazement at how much we have learnt about the sun from so far away, as well as our ability, with modern advances in understanding, to intricately survey processes from beyond our solar system.
Following this lecture students were shown Durham Universities telescopes on the roof of the Rochester building, and listened to leading academics talk about the uses of these telescopes, and what undergraduates might expect to use them for. All this, and still time for the students to ask questions about life on other planets and the feasibility of asteroid collisions with earth!  The whole day opened our eyes to the kinds of research taking place right on our doorstep.