Flash Talk Physics

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Join us on an out-of-this-world journey into outer space with an exciting programme of short talks and panel events!

Talks will last 15 minutes followed by 15 minutes for questions. Panel events will last an hour and will be the perfect opportunity to ask all your burning space related questions and join in the fascinating discussion.

All events will be run completely online via Zoom and are free to attend. Registration is required.

All events are suitable for ages 11+.

Full details about each event, including registration links, are below.

All events have been recorded and can be viewed on the Department of Physics YouTube channel here.

Past Events

Wednesday 3rd February, 4:00-4:30pm (GMT) - Talk: "Is There Water On The Moon?"

Audience - Public & students aged 11+
The recording of this event can be found here

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Oxford University is teaming up with NASA to send a mission called Lunar Trailblazer to orbit the Moon to search for water. Come and find out why and where we think water might be on the Moon.

About the speakers:
Dr Tristram Warren - "I am a researcher at Oxford University who is interested in engineering, science, space and sports. I work with lots of space agency's (NASA and ESA) to build missions that go to explore places in the solar system. In my spare time, you will likely find me on a golf course or playing football or playing squash or any kind of sport really."

Dr Katherine Shirley - "I am a researcher at the University of Oxford conducting laboratory experiments on rocks and minerals to better understand the remote sensing data from other planets. When possible, I enjoy traveling and hiking to explore all of Earth's interesting geology."

Wednesday 10th February, 4:00-4:30pm (GMT) - Talk: "Taking a Planet's Temperature"

Audience - Public & students aged 11+
The recording of this event can be found here

Measuring the temperature of a planet can give us a lot of information about the materials on its surface. Come and find out more about how we use the infrared to take the temperature of different planets, asteroids, and the Moon to find out what rocks are there.

About the speakers:
Dr Tristram Warren - "I am a researcher at Oxford University who is interested in engineering, science, space and sports. I work with lots of space agency's (NASA and ESA) to build missions that go to explore places in the solar system. In my spare time, you will likely find me on a golf course or playing football or playing squash or any kind of sport really."

Dr Katherine Shirley - "I am a researcher at the University of Oxford conducting laboratory experiments on rocks and minerals to better understand the remote sensing data from other planets. When possible, I enjoy traveling and hiking to explore all of Earth's interesting geology."

Wednesday 17th February, 4:00-5:00pm (GMT) - Panel: "Would We Lie To You (About Space)?"

Audience - Public & students aged 11+
The recording of this event can be found here

Would we really lie to you about space? Join us and find out!

In this panel event, we will be presenting "facts" about space, and it's up to you, the audience at home, to determine whether these are in fact true or a completely made up lie! Get involved and interrogate the panel with questions about the science to make your decision and then vote on each "fact" before we reveal the final result.

Panelists:
Dr Tristram Warren - "I am a researcher at Oxford University who is interested in engineering, science, space and sports. I work with lots of space agency's (NASA and ESA) to build missions that go to explore places in the solar system. In my spare time, you will likely find me on a golf course or playing football or playing squash or any kind of sport really."

Dr Katherine Shirley - "I am a researcher at the University of Oxford conducting laboratory experiments on rocks and minerals to better understand the remote sensing data from other planets. When possible, I enjoy traveling and hiking to explore all of Earth's interesting geology."

Dr Helena Bates - "I am the interim meteorite curator at the Natural History Museum in London. I am responsible for over 5000 meteorites, organising national and international collaborations and making sure the collection is looked after the best it can be. In my spare time, you can find me doing extravagant nail art, gaming or playing with my cats."

Burtie Spry - "I am a PhD student at the University of Oxford. I am working on the ground testing apparatus for an ESA mission looking at exoplanets. In my free time I enjoy being outside as much as possible. This including cycling, running and hiking."

Wednesday 24th February, 4:00-4:30pm (GMT) - Talk: "Space Rocks: Meteorites and Asteroids"

Audience - Public & students aged 11+
The recording of this event will be available soon

In late 2020 NASA collected some material from the surface of an asteroid which is thought to be one of the oldest bodies in our Solar System. Come and find out when, why, and how, and find out a little more about how we can use rocks already delivered to Earth from space to learn even more.

About the speaker:
Dr Helena Bates - "I am the interim meteorite curator at the Natural History Museum in London. I am responsible for over 5000 meteorites, organising national and international collaborations and making sure the collection is looked after the best it can be. In my spare time, you can find me doing extravagant nail art, gaming or playing with my cats."

Wednesday 3rd March, 4:00-4:30pm (GMT) - Talk: "Will We Find Life In The Universe?"

Audience - Public & students aged 11+
The recording of this event will be available soon
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We have now detected over 4000 planets outside our solar system (exoplanets). These planets are far more varied than even those found in our solar system. These include planets orbiting two stars, super-hot gas giants and even planets orbiting stellar remnants. Join us for a discussion of the what this diversity means for science and the chance for detecting life in the universe.

About the speaker:
Burtie Spry - "I am a PhD student at the University of Oxford. I am working on the ground testing apparatus for an ESA mission looking at exoplanets. In my free time I enjoy being outside as much as possible. This including cycling, running and hiking."

Monday 15th March, 4:00-5:00pm (GMT) - Panel: "Ask a Space Scientist"

Audience - Public & students aged 11+
The recording of this event will be available soon

Ask all your burning space related questions to our panel of scientists!

About the panelists:
Dr Tristram Warren - "I am a researcher at Oxford University who is interested in engineering, science, space and sports. I work with lots of space agency's (NASA and ESA) to build missions that go to explore places in the solar system. In my spare time, you will likely find me on a golf course or playing football or playing squash or any kind of sport really."

Dr Katherine Shirley - "I am a researcher at the University of Oxford conducting laboratory experiments on rocks and minerals to better understand the remote sensing data from other planets. When possible, I enjoy traveling and hiking to explore all of Earth's interesting geology."

Dr Helena Bates - "I am the interim meteorite curator at the Natural History Museum in London. I am responsible for over 5000 meteorites, organising national and international collaborations and making sure the collection is looked after the best it can be. In my spare time, you can find me doing extravagant nail art, gaming or playing with my cats."

Burtie Spry - "I am a PhD student at the University of Oxford. I am working on the ground testing apparatus for an ESA mission looking at exoplanets. In my free time I enjoy being outside as much as possible. This including cycling, running and hiking."