Black Holes, spaghetti and explosions
Professor Elizabeth Winstanley
Department of Applied Mathematics, University of Sheffield, UK

  9 August 2010, 1:30 pm,  Launceston College, Launceston
10 August 2010, 12:45 pm,  Don College, Devonport
11 August 2010, 10:00 pm,  Hutchins School, Hobart
11 August 2010, 2:00 pm,  Elizabeth College, Hobart



What is a black hole?  What happens if you fall down a black hiole?  How can we find black holes?

These are the questions we will answer in this talk.  We will also discover that black holes can explode!  Along the way, we will learn why string theorists think that it might be possible to make mini black holes in a laboratory (albeit a very big laboratory), and why these mini black holes will not swallow up the entire Earth.


Elizabeth Winstanley obtained a MA in mathematics and completed a DPhil in theoretical physics in 1996 at Oxford University . After her doctoral studies, she was appointed as Fellow and Lecturer in Applied Mathematics at Oriel College, Oxford University, teaching a wide range of mathematics and theoretical physics courses. In September 2000, she was appointed as a Lecturer in the Department of Applied Mathematics at the University of Sheffield, where she has worked ever since. She has worked her way up the academic ladder at Sheffield, and was promoted to Professor of Mathematical Physics in January 2009.

Professor Winstanley's research interests lie in general relativity, quantum gravity and quantum field theory in curved space-time. Her research focuses on the physics of black holes, particularly ``hairy'' (and more recently, ``furry'') black holes in general relativity and the Hawking radiation of black holes as might be produced at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Switzerland. She maintains a keen interest in developments in mathematics and science education, serving on a number of national mathematics education committees in the UK. She is a past-chair of the Gravitational Physics Group of the UK Institute of Physics and has recently been a member of the Council of the London Mathematical Society, the UK's learned society for mathematics. Apart from physics, she enjoys watching sport, particularly cricket and rugby league, and has a broad taste in music, everything from Rachmaninov to Radiohead.

Lecture sponsored by  the Australian Institute of Physics.