Exoplanets

The study of planets outside our solar system.

planet_hunters
Image: Planet Hunters* transit mapping tool.

An exoplanet is a planet orbiting a star other than the Sun. The first confirmed detection was only in 1992, orbiting a pulsar, and in 1995 around a normal star. Early detections were by terrestrial telescope. The large number of recent detections has been made by the NASA Kepler telescope, launched in 2009. Apart from being fascinating in itself, the significance of exoplanets is that they form in the early years of a star’s lifecycle. Observing large numbers, at different stages of a star’s life, tells us about planet formation. The light from an exoplanet can be used to infer the chemical composition of the planet and atmosphere.

Continue reading

Hydrodynamic Quantum Analogs: Prof. John W.M. Bush, MIT

Hydrodynamic Quantum Analogs

Professor John W.M. Bush, Professor of Applied Mathematics, MIT

orbiter-JFM2

The wave field generated by a droplet (black dot) executing an inertial orbit (dashed circle).

“Yves Couder and Emmanuel Fort have recently discovered that droplets walking on a vibrating fluid bath exhibit features previously thought to be peculiar to the quantum realm, including single-particle diffraction, tunneling, quantized orbits and orbital level splitting. Much of my group’s recent research has been directed towards elucidating the subtle pilot-wave dynamics of these walking droplets, and rationalizing their quantum-like behaviour.”

Preparation for University Mathematics Admission Test

If you were OK at school mathematics, but did not study a STEM subject at university, you may be interested in these resources. They are designed to help students prepare for a university mathematics admission test. They take a broader approach to understanding and problem solving in mathematics than the school curriculum.

Continue reading