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The 2016 Bolton Lecture in Astronomy

This is the 17th in a series of annual free public lectures. We aim to bring current developments in Astronomy to a wide audience and to high schools in particular. The lecture series is named after Scriven Bolton (c1888-1929) a local benefactor whose bequest enables the University to provide a state-of-the-art observatory with which undergraduates can learn practical astronomy.

The lecture takes place on Wednesday 2nd November between 5:30 pm and 6:30pm in Conference Auditorium 1 at the University of Leeds.

Black Holes & Spin Offs
Professor Katherine Blundell (University of Oxford)

The popular notion of a black hole “sucking in everything” from its surroundings only happens very close to a black hole. Far away, the pull of the black hole is identical to that of anything else of the same mass. However, black holes do give rise to many remarkable phenomena such as extragalactic quasars and, in our own Galaxy, micro quasars. This is because gravity is not the only law of physics that must be obeyed. Matter can be spun off from near black holes in the form of winds and jets that spread through their surroundings and thus cause black holes to have tremendous cosmic influence many light years beyond their event horizons. I will describe various approaches that I employ to investigate these phenomena, and their spin-offs.

Prof Katherine Blundell is a Professor of Astrophysics at Oxford University and a Research Fellow at St John’s
College. Prior to this she was one of the Royal Society’s University Research Fellows, having been a Research Fellow of the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 and before that a Junior Research Fellow at Balliol College, Oxford.

Her awards include a Philip Leverhulme Prize in Astrophysics, the Royal Society’s Rosalind Franklin Medal in 2010, the Institute of Physics Bragg Medal in 2012 and the Royal Astronomical Society’s Darwin Lectureship in 2015. Her research interests span a broad range of topics. She has published extensively on the evolution of active galaxies and their life cycles, on the accretion of material near black holes and the launch and propagation of relativistic jets.

Book now

Due to the popularity of this event in previous years all seats need to be pre-booked using the ‘book now’ button above.  This assists with our planning and ensures that we do not have to turn anyone away on the night.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Directions to the University are here.

All enquiries should be directed to Sarah Gardner by emailing or telephoning 0113 3433881.