The Physics and Astronomy Section organised the following events for the 2016 British Science Festival:

Listening to the universe: the Square Kilometre Array
In remote areas of South Africa and Australia, thousands of receptors are being constructed to form the world’s largest and most sensitive radio telescope – the Square Kilometre Array. Simon Berry discussed how the Square Kilometre Array will transform our understanding of the early history of the Universe; investigate the nature of gravity; and search for signs of extraterrestrial life.

Ripples in spacetime: how LIGO detected gravitational waves
Earlier in 2016 the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) made a major announcement: they had detected gravitational waves for the first time. This spectacular measurement was a result of two black holes merging together producing ripples in the fabric of spacetime. Joe Giaime, head of LIGO Livingstone observatory, told the amazing story of this discovery. 

President 2016: Professor Philip Diamond, University of Manchester
President 2015: Professor Stephen Sweeney, University of Surrey
President 2014: Professor Louise Harra, University College London

Recorder: Dr. Chris Harrison, Durham University