Institute of Physics (IOP) - Evening Lectures 2017-18

The Institute of Physics and West Midlands Physics Teachers’ Centre lectures hope to provide a varied programme, which will be of interest to students studying GCSE  and A-level physics and to anyone with a general interest in the subject. All are very welcome to attend.

All the lectures are free of charge and apart from the Special Events, no tickets are required - just turn up! Tea and coffee will be provided from 19:00 in the Coffee Lounge of the Poynting Building, second floor. Apart from Special Events all other lectures start at 19:30.

Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Poynting Physics Building, second floor.

Up to date details and maps of the University can be found on the University web site.

Follow us on Twitter for reminders about the next lecture (Maria Pavlidou @m_pavlidou_uob)

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Please download the IoP evening lecture programme 2017-18.

Special Events that require advance booking

(300 free tickets per event)

Tickets for special events are free but must be booked online. Once a ticket is booked, you will receive a confirmation email.  You will need to have evidence of your confirmation email (print, or smart phone, etc.) and bring this with you on the day.  Unfortunately, we will not be able to allow entrance to the Lecture Theatre without seeing confirmation. Ticket availability is limited to one per person; block-booking is not allowed on the system.  If you are a teacher please encourage your students to book their own tickets on line.  If for any reason you are unable to attend, please let us know (email Linda Rogers) so that we can release your ticket to someone else.

Special Event: Tuesday 18th July 2017 at 19:00 

Prof Yvonne Elsworth "Good Vibrations – taking the pulse of a star."

Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Poynting Physics Building, second floor.

Admission by (free) ticket only; refreshments available from 18:30.

The basic idea sun-layers-sdobehind our research is simple but powerful. The outer regions of the Sun and stars like it are noisy and disturbed. We can see this disturbance on the surface as bright and dark patches or granules. The disturbance creates sound waves which move through the whole star and some of these will set up resonances in the interior – we can think of the star as being a giant musical instrument albeit one that plays very low notes.  We observe the existence of these resonances (called solar/stellar oscillation) not by hearing the sound but by observing the very small movements in the surface of the star and the effects that these movements have on the light emitted. Because the internal sound waves have travelled through a large fraction of the whole volume of the star, their amplitudes and periods tell us about conditions in the interior. In some circumstances we can even build up sound maps. 

Additionally, most notably in the case of the Sun, we can observe its variability. The Sun is not a constant star but varies on short and long timescales some of which are relevant to life on Earth. The most famous of these is the so-called Solar Cycle which repeats about every 11 years. In recent decades the solar variability has not been quite normal. Are we witnessing a long term change or just a blip?

This talk is timed to coincide with an international astronomy conference, attended by world-leading experts in studying stars via their natural resonances, the field of asteroseismology, and preparations for the upcoming launch of the NASA TESS satellite.

Please book your Good Vibrations – taking the pulse of a star ticket.