Black Holes and String Theory

An insight into Jerome Gauntlett's talk...

Last week, Science Society was extremely lucky to welcome Professor Jerome Gauntlett - one of the world’s leading physicists - from Imperial College London. Professor Gauntlett’s track record is pretty commendable; he is currently the Head of the Theoretical Physics Group at Imperial; he did his PhD under Stephen Hawking, and he was the theoretical physics consultant for the award-winning film The Theory Of Everything.

He managed to discuss some of the most mind-boggling areas of theoretical physics in a way that was accessible and understandable even to those who don’t study sciences, and over the course of his (sadly cut short) talk we not only got to hear about - and, perhaps, begin to comprehend - the science behind black holes, but also gained valuable insight into the ideas of space-time, the space-time singularity (the black hole’s mystical vortex at which the currently accepted laws of physics cease to function), general relativity, string theory (a nascent theory that suggests that all matter is composed of one dimensional strings) and even what it’s like to consult on as high profile a film as The Theory of Everything.

It was a unique opportunity for us to see where a career in science can take you (I’m not sure many people expected the link between science and Hollywood!). It’s safe to say that most of us had never been quite so excited about physics in our lives; we all floated to our next lessons still buzzing on the ideas discussed, and we were so grateful to Professor Gauntlett for taking the time to come and inspire the next generation of scientists.

Emma Mather VII