Popular Astronomy Lectures for Schools and General Audiences

Above is a montage of some title pages for lectures which I have developed as part of  "Reach for the Stars" - a project funded initially by the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council.  All lectures have been prepared in PowerPoint, and many are available (with accompanying notes) for download.  Click here for a complete list of presentations.

If you are interested in arranging a lecture at your School, or gaining web access to copies of the lectures, email martin@astro.gla.ac.uk

Talks aimed particularly (but not exclusively!) at secondary schools' physics students are:-

Topics covered
Rocket Science
How do rockets work in space?
Newton's laws of motion and gravity;
Gravity in Einstein's universe;
Future space travel: solar sails and fusion rockets;
Black holes, hyperspace and warp drive?....
Standard grade
Higher grade
Advanced Higher
Extra-Terrestrial Life:
Is there Anybody Out There?
Life in the Solar System: Greenhouse effect, tides
Extra-Solar Planets: making stars 'wobble'
Doppler effect; the Bohr atom; atomic spectra
Detecting Earth-like planets using spectra
SETI: the Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence

Standard grade
Higher grade
Advanced Higher
Getting the Measure
of the Universe
How planets move - before and after Copernicus
Galileo's telescopes, Kepler's laws and Newton's gravity
Measuring planetary distances: Pythagoras at work
Measuring the speed of light using marshmallows!
Atomic spectra and extra-solar planets

Standard grade
Higher grade
Advanced Higher
The Life and Death of Stars
Energy from the Sun: Solar flares and Solar storms
Forming stars and planets: gas pressure and gravity
Hydrogen fusion: fuelling the Sun's nuclear furnace
When the fuel runs out: red giants and white dwarfs
Supernovae explosions: putting the Iron in Irn Bru!
Higher grade
Advanced Higher
Light in Lumps or Ripples Newton's early ideas about light; reflection and refraction
Measuring the speed of light
Young's slits and the interference of light
The ultraviolet catastrophe and the Bohr atom
The photoelectric effect: Einstein triumphs again!
De Broglie waves and quantum mechanics
Heisenberg, Schrodinger's Cat and non-locality
Higher grade
Advanced Higher
The Runaway Universe Measuring astronomical distances
Hubble's law and the expansion of the Universe
Random and systematic errors
Will the Universe expand forever?
Echoes of the Big Bang: the Microwave Background Radiation
Dark Matter and Dark Energy
Higher grade
Advanced Higher
Einstein's Universe Newton's laws of motion
Newton's gravity: 'action at a distance'
Measuring the speed of light
The elusive ether and Einstein's Special Relativity
Spacetime and moving clocks
General Relativity: gravity and spacetime warps
Advanced Higher

Complete List of Presentations