As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing with talks from NASA astronauts, space-themed film screenings and cosmic workshops, talks and quizzes galore, it’s set to be a positively intergalactic year.
New to this year is the Cosmodrome from the University of Hertfordshire, adding to the scientific skyline that makes up our hub of discovery. Brand-new to the festival, the incredible planetarium boasts a packed daytime programme of the hottest topics in astrophysics such as black holes, the nature of dark matter and how galaxies form, and as night falls a crack team of astrophysicists will be on hand to point telescopes at some of the most beautiful sights in the cosmos and answer questions from the audience. There will even be late night showings of full dome visualisations of the Dark Side of the Moon and Holst’s Planets.
The intergalactic Physics Pavilion returns with a stratospheric line-up of speakers; including quantum physicist, author and Radio 4 stalwart Jim Al-Khalili OBE who will be discussing his first novel ‘Sunfall’, whilst NASA astronaut and artist Nicole Stott will speak via live link from Florida about her time spent in orbit and painting the first watercolour in space. Scientific explorer Greg Foot will present two spectacular, scientific adventures and TED speaker, astrophysicist and World Poker champion Liv Boeree will advise on how to incorporate strategic thinking into your daily life, whilst Matthew Tosh brings his brand-new show The Sound of Science, all about sound-related phenomena, from Star Wars to the physics of farts and burps to attempting to break the sound barrier….
We’ll also have a fascinating insight into the world of cosmic film-making, as visual effects expert Graham Jack and his team discuss their work on smash-hit Interstellar and how they managed to combine visual storytelling with theoretical physics. Also taking place is live doodling and conversation from the authors of ‘We Have No Idea: A guide to the Unknown Universe’ Jorge Cham and Dan Whiteson and even a live link to the CMS experiment at CERN.
Minds will boggle and brains will be busted down at the Discovery Zone, with climate, space exploration and electricity all being explored. Visitors will be transported to other planets and far-flung galaxies as they have the chance to journey through the Solar System and even walk on the surface of Mars through incredible virtual and augmented reality. You’ll also be able to interact with the “Accelerator in the Sky”; an installation that simulates particle collisions with lights.
It’s Crash Bang Wallop at The Lab, which is packed with loads of hands-on workshops for festival-goers to get stuck into; everything from the Physics of Spider Webs, moon landing board games, the Physics of Beer, how to be an astronaut and more!
Check out our World of Physics page here to see photos from previous years.
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