June 4, 2021, by Dr. Meghan Gray

A different take on gravity by MSc Particles, Gravity and Fields students

Guest post by Prof Tony Padilla

Every so often our students remind you how wonderfully creative and talented they are.

This couldn’t have been more true as I marked this years assessments for my Advanced Gravity module. Advanced Gravity forms part of MSc in Particles, Gravity and Fields run jointly between Maths and Physics, and is also taken by fourth year mathematical physics students.  It’s a high level course that gets deep into Einstein’s ideas about gravity and relativity.  Anyway, this year I decided to try a new type of assessment. – an outreach task.  I  asked the students to make a video or write a magazine article about a choice of topics related to gravity – stuff like quantum gravity, or black hole information loss, or singularities. And I encouraged them to get creative.

I certainly thought this would be more fun to mark than a problem sheet. I didn’t realise I’d be playing “A night to remember” by Shalamar and dancing on the landing because one student had used it on the soundtrack! Frankly, I was blown away by some of the stuff the students came up with.  I was beyond impressed.  I can’t really do them justice so I think its just  best to share two particularly outstanding contributions. The first is a brilliantly creative written piece describing Penrose and Hawking’s work on singularities; the second a video on the same topic,  which, I must admit,  is far better than the Sixty Symbols video we made after Penrose won his Nobel prize.


This written piece is by a student  who wishes to remain anonymous:
A conversation between constellations

This video was made by Matt Starbuck (former UoN BSc Physics and Astronomy student, now MSc student Particles, Gravity and Fields):

Posted in Art-Science crossoverPostgraduatesPublic EngagementTeaching