Michael Merrifield

Tuesday, December 3 2013 at 7:30PM

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12 – 14 Queensbridge Road
NG2 1NB.

Michael Merrifield

What's the talk about?

Although Christmas is not a time that many people associate with science, there is plenty of science to be found around it.  This talk will touch on just a few of the scientific underpinnings of our celebration, such as the time of year we hold it, the nature of the Star of Bethlehem, and more unusual topics such as why Christmas trees are Christmas-tree shaped.  With a rich seasonal mix of chemistry, astronomy, biology, physics, psychology and even a little law, plus the definitive calculation as to how fast Father Christmas really has to travel, what better way could there be to get into the Christmas spirit?

Michael Merrifield is professor of astronomy at the University of Nottingham.  His primary area of research involves trying to understand the formation and evolution of galaxies by studying the motions of stars in nearby systems.  He is a frequent speaker in schools, astronomical societies, Cafes Scientifiques, etc, and is also regularly to be seen in the “Sixty Symbols” and “Deep Sky Videos” series on YouTube.  If you are still trying to find gifts for Christmas, he also runs a company that makes scientifically-accurate sculptures of astronomical objects called “Crystal Nebulae.”