Pint of Science Festival Showcases Latest Research


Four physicists from Lancaster University are taking part in the world's largest festival of public science talks which will see scientists take to the stage in 38 cities across the UK.

The event in Morecambe on the evening of May 22 is part of The Pint of Science festival across the UK, which will see thousands of scientists and industry professionals bring their research out of their workplace and into a pub, café or community hall.

Dr Maria Walach, Professor Edward Laird, Dr Joe Kinrade and Dr Harald Fox from the Department of Physics will be talking about geomagnetic storms, planetary auroras and the search for dark matter. Book your ticket here.

In the Eye of the Geomagnetic Storm: Living Inside a Gigantic Particle Accelerator

Dr Maria Walach, Senior Research Associate, Lancaster University

In the magnetic field that surrounds Earth, thousands of satellites are in orbit, providing the basis for GPS navigation and satellite internet. The number of launched satellites is growing rapidly, with over 1000 launched in 2022 alone, but they are vulnerable. A strong geomagnetic storm can knock satellites out of orbit, causing them to crash down to Earth. In this talk, I will uncover how space weather happens, how it affects our technologies and what we can do about it.

Searching for dark matter using quantum technology

Professor Edward Laird, Professor of Experimental Physics, Lancaster University

Dark matter makes up eighty percent of every galaxy's mass. We can see its effects, but its composition remains a mystery. Axions are a promising candidate. These hypothetical particles formed shortly after the Big Bang, congregated in galaxies, and now pass with barely a trace through ordinary matter. To find out if axions exist, the tiny signals they create interacting with our detectors need amplifying. This talk explains how quantum mechanics sets an ultimate limit on the sensitivity that any amplifier can achieve - and how quantum technology also gives us a way to evade that limit.

Spying on Saturn's ethereal auroras with the Hubble Space Telescope

Dr Joe Kinrade, Research Fellow in the Space & Planetary Physics group, Lancaster University

Saturn is a bright neighbour of ours in the night sky, known for its icy rings. But this gas giant also displays powerful ultraviolet auroras at its polar regions, invisible to the naked eye. Dr Joe Kinrade, a research fellow at Lancaster University's Space & Planetary Physics group, presents a tourist's guide to Saturn's auroras and how we image them from afar using the Hubble Space Telescope and Cassini spacecraft mission

10 Years of Higgs boson discovery and Nobel prize

Dr Harald Fox, Senior Lecturer at Lancaster University)

The Higgs boson discovery at the LHC at CERN has been in the making for 48 years. It is a story of bright ideas, many puzzle pieces that finally fit together, many failed attempts and finally the discovery, the crowning success of perseverance. This talk will highlight the essential role of the Higgs boson in our understanding of physics laws, why it is so exceptional and how it was finally discovered.

Pint of Science Festival founders Dr Praveen Paul and Dr Michael Motskin wanted to bring back the personal touch to science. Believing that everyone should have the opportunity to be curious and question local research, the festival continues to showcase the brilliant work happening on our doorsteps.

Dr Praveen Paul said: "It's hard to believe that a small one-off project between a few friends has turned into thousands of events over ten years! Pint of Science would not be possible without our enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers across the country who work so hard to show you the inspiring research happening on our doorsteps. The programme in each city is packed full of events, which will inspire, challenge and encourage us all to be curious. The only difficulty is choosing which of the brilliant events to go to!"

Alongside the main talks, audience members will be able to take part in the largest ever multi-city pub quiz - in association with interactive quiz company, Kwizzbit - to test their newfound knowledge. Teams will tackle science-themed trivia and go head-to-head with other cities interactively, in the hope of claiming the top spot in their city and across the UK.

/Public Release. This material from the originating organization/author(s) might be of the point-in-time nature, and edited for clarity, style and length. Mirage.News does not take institutional positions or sides, and all views, positions, and conclusions expressed herein are solely those of the author(s).View in full here.