Five Minutes With Professor Susan Scott [Momentum Speaker Profile]

Professor Susan Scott is a Professor of Theoretical Physics in the Research School of Physics and Engineering at the ANU, and one of the exciting speakers lined up for TEDxCanberra Momentum.

 

Her love of science, exceptional research expertise, and deep passion for women’s participation in science and policy making is not only inspiring but critical in determining the future health of our planet.

 

We sat down with Professor Susan for a quick chat. Here is what she has to say.

 

Q: Tell us a bit about your work and why you love it.

 

I am a mathematical physicist. I love trying to understand how the laws of physics work and how they apply to every aspect of our Universe … I am inspired by the big questions which we are still on a quest to answer – what is dark matter, what is dark energy, are we alone, how did the Universe begin?

 

Q: What’s something you are working on right now that you can share with us?

 

So currently we are absorbed with trying to probe how gravitational waves which may be detected from neutron stars in the future will enable us to unlock the mysteries of the physics of neutron stars, the densest objects in the Universe.

 

Q: What does MOMENTUM, our TEDxCanberra2017 theme, mean to you?

 

MOMENTUM is central to my talk as the black holes in a binary system of two large black holes have a massive amount of momentum as they get closer and closer together in a cataclysmic death spiral whizzing around each other at half the speed of light!

 

Q: What can our TEDxCanberra audience expect to hear from you? (without giving away too much!)

 

They will hear about the 100-year quest to directly detect gravitational waves here on Earth… [and] learn of the mysterious nature of the event which caused the gravitational waves that were measured in the first detection in 2015, involving objects which are so exotic that they cannot be detected by any other means.

 

Q: What are you most looking forward to sharing at the event?

 

I am most looking forward to sharing the excitement of my journey of scientific discovery with the audience. I am also really looking forward to taking in all the other talks and entertainment at the TEDxCanberra day.

 

Q: What do you like most about Canberra?

I love the fact that Canberra is not too big and it’s not too small. It has all the facilities of a larger city but the feel and community spirit of a country town. The open spaces throughout Canberra and the wild places nearby make it a very attractive place to live.

 

Q: Fun Fact. What’s one thing you can share that people don’t know about you?

I am passionate about wilderness. I love to experience it as often as I can and I am keen to assist in its preservation while we still have a window of opportunity.

 

See Professor Susan Scott join our incredible speaker line up on 16 September at Momentum. Tickets still available here.

 

Written by: Sallie Rodriguez