Bede’s School welcomes Cambridge Astro Physics expert

January 26, 2017

Bede’s pupils welcomed Professor Didier Queloz from Cambridge University for a lecture on ‘Exoplanets’, at Bede’s School on Monday 16 January.

Professor Queloz began the search for exoplanets as part of his PhD in 1995 by discovering the first planet outside of our solar system alongside his colleague Michel Mayor.  In honour of his work, he will receive the prestigious Wolf Prize in Physics this year.

Bede’s U6th pupil Emile Epifanoff said ‘Professor Queloz explained the techniques used in finding exoplanets and how they had changed over the years mostly due to the exponential increase in the data processing speed of computers and the fact that better telescopes had been built.  He talked about how planets and solar systems were formed and why we can see variation in the size of stars and planets’.

‘One of the many things I took away from the talk was when he ran a computer simulation of a common solar system through time. This revealed that even apparently trivial instabilities between planets can, over time, send the whole system into chaos which was surprising’.

Bede’s Head of Physics, Colin Hiscox said ‘We were delighted that Professor Queloz spent time at Bede’s and the students all enjoyed hearing from a leader in Astro Physics who has been at the forefront of the search for life, as we know it, on exoplanets.’