At the end of 2013 a satellite, Gaia, was sent into orbit 1.5 million km from Earth. Discover how measuring the tracks of a billion stars across the sky with incredible precision will enable Gaia to chart a three-dimensional map of our Galaxy.
High-energy physics aims to understand how nature works at a fundamental level described by elementary particles. Our current theory, the Standard Model of Particle Physics, is remarkably successful. Find out what the Higgs boson can tell us about new physics beyond the Standard Model.
Catch a comet
Comets preserve the original dust, gases and interstellar material from the birth of the Solar System, 4.6 billion years ago. Discover how the Rosetta spacecraft will provide us with a complete picture of a comet for the very first time.
There are around 14 million new cancer cases each year. Half of all cancer patients receive radiotherapy as part of their treatment and all high-energy radiation damages a cell’s DNA. Find out how protons are offering a new, effective form of radiotherapy.
Bushcrickets have the smallest ears known in animals and use ultrasonic signals to communicate and find each other in the rainforests. Discover how similar their ears are to the human ear, and how they are improving our understanding of hearing systems.
Heart of the Sun
One of the world’s most powerful lasers, Orion, is helping to recreate conditions inside the core of the Sun by firing a combination of laser pulses at an area 10,000 times smaller than a pinhead. Discover how energy is transported around the Sun and how we can create star power on Earth.
Limits of perception
We've seen phenomenal developments in biomedical imaging in the last hundred years, including new techniques that can make the body 'light up'! Explore the imaging techniques of the future and how they will allow us to see inside the body.
Ionic liquids are completely different from conventional liquids such as water and alcohol, due to their physical and chemical properties. Explore the resulting new chemistry involved, and how this can dramatically reduce contamination of our atmosphere.
We now know that small changes in DNA sequences can translate into dramatic differences in colour patterns between butterfly species. Get closer to the beautiful Heliconius butterfly and discover how genes control the diversity of animal patterning.
Head injuries can often produce long-lasting damage to the brain and cognitive function. Discover how we can use brain imaging techniques to map out the location of damage to the connecting fibres that link brain regions together.