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Astrophysics: Finding Aliens And Planets With Professor Simon Goodwin From The University of Sheffield

March 10 @ 13:30 - 14:15



This interactive online taster lecture is part of British Science Week 2020 with The University of Sheffield. Please also see: Using Light as a Ruler in DNA


Professor Simon Goodwin’s research centres on star formation. In particular, how stars move and interact in their first few million years (and the potential impact on planet formation), and how we can compare observations to theory/simulations.

We have discovered nearly 4000 planets around other stars and, in the next 10 years, we will have the technology to detect alien life on some of these planets (if it’s there??)

In this interactive webinar, Simon will discuss how we currently find planets, what’s coming next, and how we are going to look for aliens.

He will cover A Level Physics topics such as gravitation, spectroscopy, light and the Doppler effect, etc.

Following one of Professor Goodwin’s previous webinars, a Headteacher commented:  ‘Simon’s breakneck tour of a fascinating topic exposed my students to the sort of high level intellectual challenge they might well meet at University.’


Suitable for: This lecture would be appropriate for Year 12 and Year 13 students taking A-level Physics, or equivalent qualifications, specifically. However, those taking Chemistry and Biology should find it interesting and useful as well.

Lecturer Biography (Please click): Professor Simon Goodwin

Preparation or Pre-Reading: We recommend that students consider some questions in advance relevant to the subject matter and their particular interests in further study of physics/sciences.

The IT Setup: The setup is similar to Skype, using a pc and webcam, although students take part as a group with the image projected on a whiteboard rather than as individuals in front of lots of pcs. Dedicated videoconferencing equipment is also compatible if available to the school. Further details are here:Connecting in to a Channel Talent Event (Please Click)

We will work with your IT department to ensure everything is set up and working prior to the event. The sessions are generally limited to 3 to 5 schools to maintain the interactive nature of the experience.

Booking a Place: This is free for schools and colleges. If you have a group of students that you would like to take part in this event, please click here 

Subject to availability we will book a place for you.


March 10
13:30 - 14:15
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