Physics with Astrophysics

Physics can teach us so much about the world in which we live, from the largest galaxies to the smallest subatomic particles. This practical and interactive course will look at some of the most exciting and strange ideas in physics – you will never look at the world the same way again! What would it feel like to fall into a black hole? Do you want to find out about particles that are streaming through your body right now – some of which should not even exist? What is dark matter, or the even more mysterious dark energy? During this week, you will find the answers to all these questions and more!

In the optics lab, we will build spectroscopes that allow us to split up the light that reaches us from the stars. This is how astronomers know what the stars are made from as well as how old they are, and even how they are moving through space. We will also construct a basic telescope to see how Galileo first discovered the moons of Jupiter.

We will build detectors to enable us to view invisible particles and learn about how Einstein’s theory of relativity affects our results. We will also discuss dark matter and the even more mysterious ‘dark energy’ which together make up over 95% of the Universe. We currently communicate with satellites using radio waves, but soon we will be using lasers. You will investigate this by constructing your own laser transmitter and receiver to send messages across the room. Finally, we will learn about some of the 4000 currently known planets and how astronomers can find them.

DofE logo mid grey RETAILER

Scott Marley:

Scott graduated from Manchester University with an MPhys in Physics and Astronomy in 2007. He then went on to work at Bradford University, running an observatory in Tenerife and producing and delivering educational offerings from the Bradford Robotic Telescope project. Over the next four years, he worked with thousands of pupils of all ages and abilities, highlighting the scientific progress that we have made so far and how they can get involved and make the discoveries of the future.

In 2011 he moved from Yorkshire to Berkshire and began his own company to deliver exciting and unique activities in physics and maths. After delivering education projects in China, India and Latvia he headed to Namibia to observe the southern sky, and spent two months running a telescope for researchers and the general public. In 2015 he moved to Herefordshire to continue his education work and enjoy the beauty of the darker skies.