For the annual physics lecture, to be held this year on Tuesday 10th March, we are extremely fortunate to be welcoming Dr Becky Smethurst, a Research Fellow at Christ Church, University of Oxford. Dr Becky is a hugely enthusiastic and articulate presenter who has made many appearances on television and radio, and is the recently published author of “10 Things You Should Know About Space”. Dr Becky is also a prolific vlogger with weekly videos released on her YouTube channel which deal with all things space, often addressing with her main academic passion – unlocking the secrets of black holes.

In particular, Dr Becky researches the evolution of galaxies and the supermassive black holes that they contain. Containing a mass up to several billion times the Sun, supermassive black holes are found at the heart of galaxies – including our own Milky Way. The environment around these dark, massive monsters is so extreme, and their gravitational pull so immense, that not even light can escape. But where did they come from, and to what extent do we understand them?

With the release last year of the first picture of a black hole – a giant, with a mass of 3.5 billion Suns, in a galaxy 53 million light years from Earth – and the imminent release of a picture of our own galaxy’s supermassive black hole, these incredible objects have never been better understood, but we remain a long way from understanding them fully. It promises to be a truly fascinating evening.

Although this event is free to attend for all pupils, parents and guests, it is essential that you book in order to secure a place. Please contact Mr Moxham, Head of Physics ([email protected]) or via reception (01985 210100) if you wish to attend.

Al Moxham​, Head of Physics