On January 27th, Akademeia High School hosted a webinar with prof. dr hab. Stanisław Mrówczyński about our planet Earth and its place in the universe.
Prof. Mrówczyński, who is a prominent physicist working at Jan Kochanowski University in Kielce and National Centre for Nuclear Research in Warsaw, inaugurated our new science webinar series “Science Talks”, where students can learn about interesting topics in biology, chemistry, and physics.
In his presentation, prof. Mrówczyński described how early astronomers perceived planets and stars, and what methods they employed to carry their research. He then explained how new advancements in technology allowed to investigate further parts of cosmos, discover different nebulas and galaxies. The lecture inspired our audience to contemplate about life in the universe. Prof. Mrówczyński not only shared his amazing knowledge but also answered student’s questions about their future professional choices.
What I found most appealing to me in prof. Mrówczyński’s lecture was that he answered my questions before I even knew I had them. It was very insightful and interesting to learn about how the “Geocentric Ptolemy’s model” actually works and how stars seem to be rather close but are much further away than I thought. After the lecture finished I felt excited to read more about the things I have just learnt. I believe listening to this lecture broadened my interests and truly motivated me to learn more about our planet’s universe. The topic that was most interesting for me was the one regarding stars; I have always been interested in them but never had the opportunity to learn more about them.
Humans are of course very small at a Universal scale, but I find myself forgetting that often when I look at how far science has taken us. It appears that the more we know about the workings of the world, the more insignificant we feel in comparison. This was very nicely explained in prof. Mrówczyński’s seminar where we could see how our species’ view on our place in the Universe changed dramatically over the centuries. I especially enjoyed how the poor relatively clueless astronomers were trying to explain the complex movement of celestial objects using perfectly circular orbits and were literally achieving a very primitive form of Fourier transform, over 1800 years before Fourier’s birth. That blew my mind.