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Outreach

Here you can find a list of outreach talks offered by members of the UK Cosmology community. Please contact ukcosmology[at]gmail.com to arrange a talk.
Researchers wishing to add a talk should contact the Chair.

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In addition to our outreach talks, note also that UCL run an excellent blog where cosmological ideas are explained to the public : http://www.earlyuniverse.org/blog/
Black Holes and Extra Dimensions
Dr Tony Padilla, University of Nottingham, UK

Why does the Universe even exist? Physicists believe that the answer to this question lies deep inside the mysterious world of black holes, where space and time is as strange and complicated as it was at the beginning, when the Universe was born. I will take us on a journey of discovery, from the black hole at the centre of our own galaxy, to the exotic world of string theory, extra dimensions and parallel universes. Find out what its like to fall into a black hole, why we believe in extra dimensions, and what this all has to do with a 9 billion dollar machine that smashes things together at almost the speed of light.

The Real Science Behind Parallel Universes
Dr Tony Padilla, University of Nottingham, UK

Have you always wanted be a rock star? In a parallel reality your wish came true. Is this the real life, or is this just fantasy? Learn about the real science behind parallel universes as I take us on a journey of discovery through the multiverse to different parallel worlds, from those that exist all around us to those that are unimaginably far away. Travel across the landscape of string theory to watch new universes bubbling into existence, and visit island universes that are marooned in a sea of extra dimensions. Understand how you can create new universes closer to home just by tossing a coin, and find out why you might be nothing more than a Boltzmann brain, floating through empty space with false memories.

The particle zoo: beauty, symmetry and symmetry breaking
Dr Rose Lerner, University of Helsinki, Finland

Perhaps you have heard of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, which is attempting to discover new particles? But which particles exist? What makes a particle fundamental? And what role do beauty and symmetry play in particle physics? In this talk, I introduce the fundamental particles that form our universe, such as quarks, neutrinos, and the Higgs boson, which plays a particularly important role. I also discuss the role of antimatter in the evolution of the universe.

A short history of the Universe
Dr Rose Lerner, University of Helsinki, Finland

Starting from before the Big Bang, I discuss how the Universe formed, focusing on the first few minutes (where all the interesting stuff happens). This includes the Big Bang, expansion of the Universe, primordial inflation and the annihilation of antimatter. I end at the formation of the cosmic microwave background, which is the earliest signal we have from the Universe, 380 000 years after the Universe began.

What is Dark Matter?
Dr Rose Lerner, University of Helsinki, Finland

Dark matter is "stuff" that we cannot see and haven't directly detected in any experiment. Scientists believe that it makes up about a quarter of the Universe today. (Most of the remainder is "dark energy", which we know even less about.) The stuff that we are familiar with (atoms, light, humans, planets, stars, galaxies') is only a small fraction (4%) of the Universe. In this talk I present and explain some of the evidence which leads scientists to believe that most of the Universe is "dark". Then I discuss some of the theories for what dark matter might actually be, and finally explain some of experiments which should help us to understand dark matter better.

Observational Cosmology
Arron Rumsey, Lancaster University

I begin by talking about how science relies upon both experiment/observation and theory in order to progress. I talk about the observations that have been made of our universe and then discuss Olber's Paradox. I then talk about the Hot Big Bang and introduce the CMB. I introduce Inflation and talk about how it solves the Horizon problem. I then mention the state of the art in Inflation research and then conclude.

Supernovae
Arron Rumsey, Lancaster University

I introduce supernovae and then discuss the life-history of different star types. I talk about the 2 different types of Hydrogen-Hydrogen fusion that occur is main sequence stars and then mention Hydrostatic Equilibrium. I then talk about how heavy elements are produced by stars and then discuss why only light elements were produced in the early universe. I discuss how we can observe supernovae and then talk about Type Ia supernovae and how they provided evidence for accelerated expansion of the universe. I then talk about dark energy and the cosmological constant and then conclude.

Winton Capital Management

UK Cosmology gratefully acknowledges financial support from Winton Capital Management

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Recent Publications

A selection of the most recent publications of the UK Cosmology community

Self-Diffusiophoretic Colloidal Propulsion Near a Solid Boundary
Ali Mozaffari, Nima Sharifi-Mood, Joel Koplik, Charles Maldarelli
Recombination era magnetic fields from axion dark matter
Nilanjan Banik, Adam J. Christopherson

 

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