Taster Lectures: mathematics and physics

Watch our taster lectures to gain an insight into what it's like to study mathematics and physics at university.

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We explore the evidence that lies behind the theories of the Big Bang, dark matter and dark energy...
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Did you know that dark matter is not dark? It's actually transparent to light. In this talk we examine what we understand about dark matter and dark energy...

Cosmology Masterclass

Cosmology is the study of the evolution of the universe. The standard model of cosmology consists of three main elements, the Big Bang, dark matter and dark energy. But we don’t know what the Big Bang was, what dark matter is or what dark energy is! You might ask why do we have this model? This lecture explains why and introduces the evidence that has led us to the standard model.

About the speaker

Carolyn Devereux is an astrophysicist and a lecturer on our astronomy, physics, mathematics and computing degrees. She specialises in the measurement of dark matter halo mass and the role of dark matter in the evolution of the Large Scale Structure of the Universe. She works in the Centre for Astrophysics Research, here at Herts, which researches all aspects of astrophysics. This includes searching for life beyond earth, extragalactic research and exploring our own galaxy, The Milky Way.

The Dark Universe

95% of the universe is dark energy and dark matter, but we do not know what they are. In this taster, we explore The Dark Universe in greater detail than our first Cosmology Masterclass. We present the evidence for their existence, examining their temperature and bullet clusters, to theorise their key properties. We explore what dark matter could be and what it's not. Using computer simulations we discuss how dark matter is distributed across the universe and the formation of the cosmic web, gases, stars and galaxies. We also introduce some of the experiments currently taking place to try and create a dark matter particle.

Plus, we explain some of the career options available to students who study physics, astrophysics and maths.

About the speaker

Carolyn Devereux is an astrophysicist and a lecturer on our astronomy, physics, mathematics and computing degrees. She specialises in the measurement of dark matter halo mass and the role of dark matter in the evolution of the Large Scale Structure of the Universe. She works in the Centre for Astrophysics Research, here at Herts, which researches all aspects of astrophysics. This includes searching for life beyond earth, extragalactic research and exploring our own galaxy, The Milky Way.