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Acclaimed astronomer to deliver festive lecture at UCLan

10 December 2014

Rachel Atkinson

Professor John Brown will discuss ‘Black Holes & White Rabbits’

An illustrious astronomer is presenting the free annual Christmas Lecture at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

Professor John Brown, Astronomer Royal for Scotland, is visiting UCLan on 16 December to share his expert knowledge in a talk entitled ‘Black Holes & White Rabbits’.

The main focus of the lecture, which is hosted and organised by the Jeremiah Horrocks Institute, is gravity. Gravity plays a fundamental role in every aspect of the universe, from its Big Bang beginnings to enabling life in diverse ways. Assisted by illustrative magic tricks, the talk will explain what gravity is, how greatly its strength varies across the universe, and illustrate some if its properties. In particular, the discussion will cover black holes, the strongest sources of gravity and the most bizarre objects in the cosmos.

Topics will also include space-time distortion, gravitational lensing, Hawking radiation, and the possible cosmological relevance of black holes: Big Bang multiverse creation, the cosmic flow of entropy; and the existence of life itself.

Professor Brown has been the 10th Astronomer Royal for Scotland since 1995. He held the Chair of Astrophysics in Glasgow University position from 1984 to 1996. From then until 2010 he was the 10th Regius Professor of Astronomy in Glasgow University. He is now the Leverhulme Emeritus Research Fellow.

He has published around 300 research papers on solar flares, stellar winds, comet-sun impacts and inverse problems. He has held research fellowships in 17 institutions worldwide and won the 2012 Royal Astronomical Society Gold Medal for his solar research. He has also won the UK Institute of Physics Outreach Prize.

The event will take place at 6.30pm in Harrington Lecture Theatre. Tickets are free but must be ordered online in advance as places are limited. Public parking will be available on campus on a first-come, first-served basis. To book your free tickets please visit Eventbrite or email