Linda grew up in a small village in the countryside in the North of Italy, and although physics brought her to London years ago, she still doesn’t like people messing with her pizza. Being a physicist is one of the ‘coolest’ jobs in the World, and Linda knows about cool stuff! Her love relationship with particle physics started in Italy, where she gained a Bachelor in Physics at the Università degli Studi di Milano in 2010. She went on to complete a Master of Science in Physics and Astronomy at University College London, where she hunted very dense materials by using the natural radiation from cosmic rays.During her PhD at Queen Mary University of London, Linda studied the changes of various neutrino flavours at the T2K experiment to understand why there is so much matter (and not antimatter!) in the universe. In 2015 she became an UltraHighEnergyNeutrinoHunter, using radio antennas attached to a balloon and buried 200m deep in ice as part of the ANITA and ARA experiments at the South Pole. Since 2013 Linda has been organising events as part of the Pint of Science Festival. Find out more about Linda
Matthew may be the only physicist you ever meet who has gone SCUBA diving in a particle physics detector. After starting uni with the intention of a career in cognitive psychology, he accidentally got sidetracked in to particle physics. Matthew cut his professional teeth at the Kamioka Observatory in Japan, where he earned his doctorate by using the Super-Kamiokande experiment to hunt for relic neutrinos from ancient supernovae in the early universe. After completing his degree, Matthew continued to wander the far corners of the globe, studying ultra-high energy cosmic rays at the Pierre Auger Observatory in Argentina and then searching for dark matter in Italy’s Gran Sasso underground laboratory.Now a lecturer at the University of Sheffield, Matthew has returned to his first love: Neutrino research. When not working, Matthew can be found ringing church bells, running, swimming, cycling and hiking. He is an avid theatre buff, and recently completed his long-term goal of seeing every one of Shakespeare’s plays performed live on stage.
While growing up in Germany, Jost was fascinated by tiny elementary particles and giant galaxies (and, very occasionally, some medium-sized stuff as well). For his PhD at the University of Sheffield, he combined both passions and uses ghost-like particles called “neutrinos” to observe supernovae – ultraviolent explosions, where a single star flares up as bright as a whole galaxy. When he’s not travelling to Tokyo, Venice or Chicago (strictly for research purposes, of course), Jost enjoys spending evenings at home in the kitchen, baking or trying Chinese food made by his flatmates.Find out more about Jost
They say astronomy is a way of life and it most certainly is for Jeni. She cannot remember a time when she was more concerned about what was happening down on planet Earth compared to what was going on ‘up there’. Encouraged by a father who’d tinkered with telescopes in his time, a glimpse of the pitted lunar surface through an ageing Newtonian telescope was the only spark needed to ignite the fire of interest that fuels her life today. She is currently in her third year of a Masters Degree in Astrophysics from Cardiff University and is already sharing her knowledge with the next generation through talks and activities with school children of all ages.Jeni has featured on radio shows and podcasts, discussing astronomy, galaxies and gravitational waves. Jeni regularly attends a star camp held in the Brecon Beacons not only as an avid amateur astronomer and imager, but also as a speaker, Limerick Competition judge and Pancake-Maker Extraordinaire. Find out more about Jeni
See how everyone else on this page is a Dr, or training to be a Dr, with the exception of Rik? Why’s that you ask? It’s because he’s not a doctor! He’s a mere mortal like the rest of us! In Rik’s case, PhD means “partially hairy dude” (lower face, chest, and an area we’ll simply call “sub-belt”). However, what he lacks in proper scientific training he makes up for with his inquisitive nature. Rik is generally curious about the world, which combined with Duracell-bunny-level enthusiasm and lifelong geekiness, makes for an intriguing blend of chap, investigator and idiot. Aligned with the stand-up comedy skills Chortle called “fabulously funny and original gags jostling for their place in the lively, conversational routine” we have a perfect candidate to host our events. Hence why we’ve let him off not being a doctor, this time…Find out more about Rik
Chris has been interested in all things space-related since he was young, and was writing school projects on rockets and space missions since junior school onwards. Skip forward a decade and Chris was an undergraduate studying Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge, still with a keen appetite for physics and astronomy. Despite almost being converted into a geologist, Chris decided to stick to his roots and stayed with astrophysics. Learning the detailed maths and physics behind it all only fuelled Chris’s interest, and he moved to Oxford to begin work as an ‘experimental cosmologist’. While at Oxford, Chris ended up spending time working as ‘Astronomy Researcher’ on a little show we all know and love called The Sky at Night, later becoming one its co-presenters.Chris completed his PhD and moved to Cardiff University where he now works on the European Space Agency’s Herschel Space Observatory. As well as research, Chris presents the Herschel mission and many other aspects of astronomy on TV and radio, at public events and in schools. Find out more about Chris
From an early age, Heloise has been fascinated by how the universe works and how we, and the world we live in, came to be. To answer this question requires looking up at the stars and questioning everything. To do this, Heloise left France and came to Sheffield for her undergraduate degree to learn and explore. She then spent her Master’s year in the Canary Islands working at the Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes, and graduated in 2015. Not having had enough of the science, she came back to Sheffield to do her PhD and is now working to investigate how supernovae explode.Heloise has a passion for sharing her love of Physics and Astronomy as well as promoting diversity in STEM, and has been involved with numerous outreach events with the University of Sheffield and local schools.
The only student in his sixth form opting for A-Level physics, Ben was sent to a girls school to study. With an interest in rocket science he went to the University of Leicester where he gained a masters in Physics with Space Science and Technology in 2005. Before he left Leicester his interests had already turned to the field of particle physics. Since joining Queen Mary University of London in 2009, Ben has been involved in the university’s outreach programme. In the intervening years the variety, breadth and scale of his public engagement activities has grown.Ben has worked with designers, artists, the media, and other outreach professionals to innovate the way in which physics is communicated. In 2013 Ben was presented with two awards in the high energy physics community and the Institute of Physics physics communicators group for his work in communicating physics. Find out more about Ben
Brian Wecht is a theoretical physicist, musician, and comedian who has held research positions at Harvard University, the Center for Theoretical Physics at MIT, the Institute for Advanced Study, and the University of Michigan. Brian is currently a faculty member at Queen Mary University of London, where his research focuses on string theory and supersymmetry. Brian is also half of the musical comedy duo Ninja Sex Party, in which he (“Ninja Brian”) plays piano in a ninja costume while his partner “Danny Sexbang” dances around in a kimono and sings. Ninja Sex Party’s music videos have over 27 million views on YouTube, and have been featured selections at SXSW, the LA Comedy Shorts Festival, and Dragon*Con.Brian’s recent nerdcore album “Starbomb”, created with Danny Sexbang as well as YouTube personality Egoraptor, spent almost three months as number one on the Billboard comedy charts so far this year. Finally, Brian is the co-founder of The Story Collider, a science-themed live storytelling show and podcast. Find out more about Brian
Tom is “Researcher in Residence” for the CERN@school project, working with The Langton Star Centre, Queen Mary University of London, GridPP, the Institute of Physics and SEPnet to get as many schools as possible doing physics research through the CERN@school project. Tom completed his PhD, and worked as a Research Assistant, at Imperial College London‘s High Energy Physics group. He worked on the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment, one of the giant “digital cameras” that takes photos of what’s going on inside the Large Hadron Collider at CERN when it’s smashing stuff together.Tom has won awards and prizes for science communication, including winning the NESTA Famelab UK competition in 2009. Tom has also curated Science Showoff events, and given talks and produced videos for TED. Find out more about Tom