Black holes and bright ideas

June 5, 2020 | Our Form VI IB Physics students came together this week to learn about celestial bodies that matter!
As they wrap up their discussions about waves and light, students in Ms. Rowell's online meeting this week were treated to an engaging conversation with astrophysicist Ilana Macdonald. A graduate of the Ph.D. program in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Toronto, Dr. Macdonald spent much of the class time presenting the history of research into black holes and the discoveries and uncertainties that preoccupy today's researchers. Following the presentation was a question and answer period in which our students demonstrated their knowledge and curiosity. Thuy Duong, Maël, and Mary probed deeper into how time and gravity work inside a black hole while Graham, Zofia, Émilya, and Anthony picked Dr. Macdonald's brain on some broader topics in astrophysics including dark matter, artificial gravity, and the parallel universe theorized by the Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna project.

Wrapping up the meeting, Ms. Rowell prompted a more personal discussion about what inspired Dr. Macdonald to study astronomy and astrophysics. As it turns out, it was a discussion with an astrophysicist not unlike the one these students were taking part in that led her to this lifelong pursuit. We're sure this week's presentation in turn inspired many of our own young physicists!

Bishop's College School is an independent English-language boarding and day school for grades 7 to 12 in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada.