Back in June, our ‘Cosmic Cabaret: Peake into Space’ event blended science with music, poetry and comedy, with support from the Institute of Physics.
One of the scientists involved in the project was Becky Douglas, who stopped for a chat with the blog!
1. Who are you and where do you work?
I am Becky Douglas, a PhD student/Research Assistant at the University of Glasgow, where I work as a member of the Institute for Gravitational Research
2. What was your involvement with the Cosmic Cabaret night?
I spoke with musicians and artists about what it’s like to be a scientist, the research I do on a day-to-day basis and how rewarding scientific research can be
3. Can you explain your research (in simple terms!)?
My PhD was on gravitational wave detectors. Gravitational waves a ripples in spacetime caused by huge events like colliding black holes. They were predicted by Einstein but it wasn’t until September 2016 (nearly exactly 100 years later) that they were finally detected. As a PhD student my work was to develop materials that will go into new, even more sensitive detectors which will allow us to detect even more astrophysical events.
4. What’s your favourite thing about your job?
My favourite thing about my job is when an experiment works and you find out something new for the first time. For a very brief period, you’re the first person in the world to know something. That’s a really exciting moment.
5. Impress us with your favourite science fact.
350 million years ago a day was less than 23 hours long
You can watch some of the footage from the Cosmic Cabaret night on our YouTube channel. A big thanks to Becky and the other researchers for getting involved in this unique project!