6 February 2020
Abingdon Science Partnership’s regular GCSE Astronomy class welcomed a visiting speaker, Dr Peter Hatfield from the Department of Physics at the University of Oxford, to speak about his post-doctoral research on Dark Matter Haloes. As well as the usual class members from John Mason, Europa and Abingdon schools, the Year 10 Science Symposium group from John Mason attended along with a number of Abingdon School sixth form physicists.
Dr Hatfield was able to explain some of the evidence for current ideas about the expansion rate of the universe, how his own research was adding to the evidence for dark matter and give an insight into how future ground and space telescopes would use measurements across several wavebands to try to answer perplexing questions about what dark matter really is. Dr Hatfield is a fairly frequent visitor to the Yang Science Centre in his role as student mentor and ambassador for the Institute for Research in Schools CERN@School programme.
In addition to giving his talk, he was able to meet with the team from Physics Factor Research Club currently writing up the results of their research project for submission to a professional journal.