Talks to U3A groups








Ancient Light

The Universe is vast and ancient. Large telescopes have imaged galaxies that are billions of light-years distant. Is it possible to capture an image of one of these very remote objects without a telescope?


  Recording   Handout


Given to: Southport U3A







Apollo 13

In April 1970 the Apollo 13 mission "had a problem". The heroic efforts of mission control to rescue the three astronauts are well documented. This short talk covers some of the perhaps not-so-well-known aspects of the mission.


  Recording   Handout


Given to: Southport U3A, Warrington U3A







Beginning of Everything

A brief description of the origin and the very early history of the Universe. It took about three minutes to kick-start the Universe. If this happened 13.8 billion years ago, how can we be so sure?


  Recording   Handout


Given to: Warrington U3A







Dark Matter

More than 80% of all the matter in the Universe is dark matter. What is the evidence that makes us think that dark matter exists? Why is it dark? What is it made of? Does it matter? What are the consequences if dark matter does not exist?


  Recording   Handout


Given to: Causeway U3A, Southport U3A







Great Moon Hoax

As we all know, the Apollo moonlandings of the late 1960s and early 1970s were faked by NASA. What is the 'evidence' that supports this claim and does it stand up to scientific scrutiny?


  Recording   Handout


Given to: Aughton & Ormskirk U3A, Bolton U3A, Formby U3A, Lymm & Thelwall U3A, North West Region U3A AGM, Poynton U3A







Just a Second

What is a second, what can happen in one second, and why do we need leap seconds?


  Recording   Handout


Given to: Formby U3A, Stourbridge U3A







Legacy of the Hubble Space Telescope

A brief history of the Hubble Space Telescope and a description of its legacy in terms of its scientific contributions to our understanding and the way that it touched the public consciousness.


  Recording   Handout


Given to: Southport U3A







Lighter Side of Astronomy

A light-hearted look at astronomy and astronomers, plus some of the weird and wonderful telescopes that they use.


  Recording   Handout


Given to: North West Region U3A Summer School, Southport U3A, Warrington U3A







Science of Santa

A short tongue-in-cheek 'stocking-filler' talk for the festive season. Is Santa Claus real? How many laws of physics does he break? Can his (alleged) feats be reconciled with scientific reasoning?


  Recording   Handout


Given to: Southport U3A







Star of Bethlehem

A light-hearted look at the Gospel of St Matthew. What are the astronomical candidates for the Star of Bethlehem? How well do they fit the account? Do known events fit the timeline of the nativity?


  Recording   Handout


Given to: Aughton & Ormskirk U3A, Formby U3A, Southport U3A, Stourbridge U3A







Unidentified Flying Objects

Are there any images of UFOs that need an extraterrestrial explanation? This talk looks at some images that may have more down-to-earth origins.


  Recording   Handout


Given to: Warrington U3A







Warping Space and Time

The science fact and science fiction of black holes. How are they formed, what are their properties and how can we 'observe' them? What about TV and the movies? Does Hollywood ever get it right?


  Recording   Handout


Given to: Formby U3A, Southport U3A, Warrington U3A







Weird World of the Very Very Small

How do we describe the world on a scale of atoms and molecules? The concepts underlying quantum mechanics seem to be at odds with common sense, but quantum theory describes reality on the atomic scale.


  Recording   Handout


Given to: Aughton & Ormskirk U3A, Formby U3A, Warrington U3A







Wildlife Photography

Illustrated with images taken over many years of African safaris, this talk describes how wildlife photographs can be improved by considering composition, focus, lighting, shutter speed and lens aperture.


  Recording   Handout


Given to: Stourbridge U3A



Steve Barrett       March 2021

S.D.Barrett@liv.ac.uk
Link to University of the Third Age
Back to top