New outreach event!! Wednesday 20th March 2013 4pm – 9pm Physics West, University of Birmingham.
The University of Birmingham’s Particle Physics Group, Gravitational Wave Group and Astronomical Society cordially invite you to attend an evening of discovery on Wednesday the 20th of March from 4pm to 9pm at the University of Birmingham’s Edgbaston campus. The event is a part of this year’s National Science and Engineering Week and the University’s Arts and Science Festival.
We encourage adults, families and children of all ages to learn more about the physics of the universe we live in via our hands on activities, lectures and demonstrations. Find out how we use kilometre size experiments and state of the art computer analysis and simulation to discover the invisible forces which influence everything from the smallest subatomic particle to the structure of galaxies.
The following 30 minute talks will be taking place:
17:00: Discovering Black holes with Gravitational Waves by Chiara Mingarelli
17:45: Laser Interferometers and Gravitational Waves by Charlotte Bond
18:30: An introduction to Particle Physics and the Large Hadron Collider by Cristina Lazzeroni 19:15: Astronomy talk: tbc
For more information please contact Miss Katherine Grover, Doctoral Researcher in the Gravitational Wave Group:
Email: kat [at] star.sr.bham.ac.uk Phone: 01214143721
For information on National Science and Engineering Week visit
For more information on the University Science and Arts Festival visit http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/artsandsciencefestival
I have been nominated by the RAS to go to London this Wednesday to participate in Voice of the Future 2013. This is an opportunity to ask MPs (David Willetts, Shabana Mahmood) questions about current policies and hold the government accountable for recent cuts etc (see website for more details). Representatives from all fields of science will be participating in this event as part of the National Science and Engineering Week. If anyone is interested in following this, you can follow on twitter (#VOF2013) as they will be taking at least 1 addition question from there, and VOF will also be broadcast live on the BBC for the first few minute at 9.30am followed by a live feed will be available on www.parliament.uk/science.
Whilst navigating the seas of social media today, I happily stumbled upon something useful! I found a website which encourages researchers to describe their work using the 1000 most common English words.
I found this particularly challenging and therefore enraging and addictive, and thought that my blog readers would thoroughly enjoy having a go at this. Click here to see my effort.
I particularly encourage friends and family to do this, whatever their job may be, so that they may appreciate the amount of work that goes in to preparing something like this!
Mine is not totally coherent.. and makes black holes sound like cannibalistic zombies.. but there's only so much a girl can do with the 1000 most common words in the English language when trying to describe supermassive black holes. Le sigh.
There is a particular effort which describes how stars age are excellent, and worth a read.
PS, if tweeting your results use #UPGOERFIVE
Last night marked the first night of BBC Stargazing Live 2013 at the University of Birmingham :) I also seem to have made it (in picture-form) on season 3 episode 3 of BBC Stargazing Live! I am demonstrating the lycra universe to some kids.
The event went very well at the University. I estimate that we had about 400 people through our display in the physics library over the course of 4 hours. At some points the room was totally packed and people couldn't get in!
I'm really looking forward to Saturday's event, there should be quite a good turnout!
Cake and Coffee Day is a longstanding tradition in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Birmingham, but raising money for charity is my own personal twist.
This year we chose to donate to Plan UK's "Because I am a Girl" campaign. This fund helps girls to attend school, stay in school, and develop skills that can make them financially independent. We raised £52, which is almost enough to provide a girl with school supplies for a year in Sierra Leone:)
As you may have gathered, I feel very strongly about supporting women in physics, and the sciences in general. This takes for granted that there are women being educated to a very high standard. Most of the young women in this campaign haven't even got elementary education under their belts, so helping them to finish school is paramount. Plan UK writes:
With education, skills and the right support, girls can make choices over their own future and be a huge part of creating lasting change. An educated girl is...
Click here for more information on how to get involved or make a donation.
You may have noticed that I have changed the design of my website... I was feeling like it was getting a bit dated, and wanted something clean and zen-like. This was largely inspired by my husband's website revamp (see www.danielgmacleod.com), which is now very zen.
You may have also noticed my affinity for purple. I have no comment on this. It just is.
I am not a religious person, but I love Christmas time :) When my dad was here visiting for a week, we thoroughly explored the German Market with my husband Dan, and discovered that the vegetarian food consisted of crepes and a potato mushroom melange. It was definitely an improvement from last year!
Edinburgh also has a lovely Christmas market which has skating! Birmingham should really jump on that bandwagon and do more wonderful wintery activities, other than eat sausages in the rain...
In physics related news, I am scrambling to write a paper before Christmas so that I can write a different one after.
Rush rush rush... but first, hot chocolate. Oh yeah.
On October 17th I attended the Very Early Career Award prize ceremony at the Institute of Physics in London. I was short-listed for my contributions to both research and outreach. I gave a 15 min talk on my outreach and research and listened to the other short-listed candidates' talks too. I was blown away by how active the other nominees were, and am sincerely honoured to have been nominated.
Above: (left to right) Clare Burke, Kate Sloyan, Chiara Mingarelli and Hayley Smith.
Photo credit: IOP
Today there's a really interesting article in the Guardian (newspaper) which is about why Einstein never won a Nobel Prize for General (or special) Relativity. http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/across-the-universe/2012/oct/08/einstein-nobel-prize-relativity?CMP=twt_fd
I deals with the political climate surrounding the prize then, and brings up factors that I was previously unaware of, such as the rising climate of anti-semitism. A good short read!
Gravity fields was great fun! There were so many interested kids on Saturday, and then on Thursday and Friday with my fellow GW hunter, Mengyao Wang (@GWpolarizer), and I did a lot of demonstrations to home schooled children. Thanks to the organisers for putting together a great festival :)
On the right one can see some of our most enthusiastic participants! This young lady was especially keen on the lycra Universe. Physics, watch out!