The Story of Light

On 22 March 2014, I gave a TEDxCardiff talk entitled "Intelligent Robots and the Story of Light". Being quite excited about being on stage again and being film, I didn't quite say everything I'd planned.

I believe that astronomy is a unique science because we are a limited to what we can learn about the Universe by the light that the Universe sends our way. Apart from travelling around our Solar System a little bit we can't visit anything in the Universe, say the closest star to the Sun - proxima Centauri, and  dip a thermometer into it or put a ruler up against it. We rely on decyphering this information from the light that star shines in that direction. Everything  we know about the Universe is from these tiny packets of information, from the afterglow of the Big Bang  to cosmic fireworks when galaxies merge.

Each packet of information, each photon, has a story to tell and it is the job of astronomers to decypher that story.