On Tuesday 14th November, the Scientific Society hosted Professor Anthony Padilla of the University of Nottingham. Professor Padilla is an esteemed science communicator, regularly appearing on the popular YouTube channels ‘Numberphile’ and ‘Sixty Symbols’.

Professor Padilla began by asking a question. Why are we here? Why does our universe exist? Black holes, he explained, may provide the answer to this fundamental question. Professor Padilla analysed the theory behind black holes, including basic special and general relativity. He then demonstrated what we would experience if we were to journey inside a black hole. This led to string theory and extra dimensions. String theory is only possible in 10 dimensions. However, we cannot appreciate these extra dimensions due to our relative large size. Professor Padilla finished the talk by explaining the role of the Large Hadron Collider in all this, and how string theory could be reinforced or disproven by the evidence gathered.

Questions at the end were varied and insightful, ranging from quantum loop gravity to paradoxes involved with general relativity. Indeed, Professor Padilla remarked how impressed he was by the depth of knowledge and understanding shown.

Harry Dunn