LIYSF 2022: Day 10

Day 10 at LIYSF! Our morning started off with a group lecture about chemical engineering for the future from Dr. Ollie Folayan. He taught us about how engineering will have to adapt as the world moves towards cleaner energy sources such as hydrogen fuel and processes like carbon capture.

In the afternoon, we had a lecture from Professor Mark McCaughrean about the James Webb Space Telescope! This lecture was one of my favourites thus far. This was also one of the first public lectures about the results of the JWST. He taught us about the various telescopes that have been launched prior to Webb that operate at varying wavelengths, from microwaves to gamma waves.

He then showed us how the 18 hexagonal shaped mirrors of the JWST focus light to reflect back to the various instruments. My favourite part was learning about the spectroscopic capabilities of the telescope.

Webb has the ability to determine the chemical composition of, for example, gas around black holes using something called integral field spectroscopy. This is a very complicated process that involves breaking up the incoming light from distant galaxies into their constituent wavelengths! I think it’s amazing that from Earth, we’re able to communicate with the JWST (1.5 million kilometres away) and that it can image galaxies and celestial bodies that are 11 billion years old 😱!

Our evening ended off with a sports day event with the rest of the participants at Holland Park. I’ve been enjoying the social aspect of the forum in conjunction with all the scientific activities we’ve gotten up to. Stay tuned for Rhien’s account of our Cambridge visit tomorrow!