Future leaders in space research recognised

Two of our physicists who are exploring the mysteries of the universe have received a coveted future leader fellowship.

Dr Martin Bauer and Dr Leah Morabito have received the fellowship from Government-funded research organisation, UK Research and Innovation.

The fellowships are designed to establish the careers of world-class researchers and will support Leah and Martin to carry out their research into super-massive black holes and finding undetectable dark matter.

Super-massive black holes

Leah investigates how active super-massive black holes in distant galaxies impact the growth of galaxies surrounding them.

Matter gives off radio waves when it interacts with the strong magnetic and gravitational fields around the super massive black hole.

In the first survey of its kind, Leah will use data processing techniques to zoom in on these radio emissions to measure how the black hole impacts on star formation.

A puzzling matter

Dark matter accounts for around 80 per cent of the total mass of the universe, but what it is remains a puzzle to scientists.

Established experiments have focussed on searches for dark matter that scatters off heavy atoms in deep underground labs, assuming it behaves like slowly moving particles.

But a certain type of dark matter, called weakly interacting massive particle (WIMP), moves slower, is more fluid-like, and cannot always be detected.

Dark matter accounts for around 80 per cent of the total mass of the universe, but what it is remains a puzzle to scientists.

Established experiments have focussed on searches for particle dark matter that scatters off heavy atoms in deep underground labs.

Very light dark matter behaves like a fluid instead, and cannot be discovered with these experiments.

Martin will work with other physicists to design an experimental programme to discover effects from very light dark matter inducing minute changes in the wavelengths of light in atomic transitions or in gravitational waves.

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