Summer Schools: How big is the universe? (age 13–15)

10.30am to 3.30pm, Monday 13 August

The Royal Institution of Great Britain GB United Kingdom W1S 4BS 21 Albemarle Street London

This event has already taken place

  • Credit: via Tim Mitchell
  • Type

    Summer Schools
  • Audience

    Age 13–15

  • Speakers

    • Martin Yates


Standard £50

Ri Young Members £42.50

Event description

Come and discover how the universe works in this workshop with Martin Yate and explore questions including:

Can we use mathematics in astronomy and physics to calculate the size of the universe? Can we use mathematics to discover whether aliens really exist? How do mathematicians work with the very large numbers involved?

In this workshop students will explore a number of mathematical techniques that astronomers employ, modelling everything from the size and history of galaxies to the probability that we might one day communicate with civilisations from another planet.

About the speaker

Martin Yates is a teacher of mathematics and an amateur astronomer.

Martin works with talented young mathematicians aiming to go on to one of the UK's top universities to study mathematics-oriented degrees such as physics, engineering or economics, and he has also worked for many years applying mathematics to business decisions in industry and commerce.

Please note

This workshop is strictly for 13–15 year-olds and will include a 45 minute unsupervised lunch break. Students should bring lunch and a drink, pens, pencils and a calculator.

Mathematics Summer School workshops are based on Ri Masterclasses. Students who have attended a Masterclass series which included a session on a similar topic may have already seen some of the content in this workshop. Please contact us on with any questions.

Refunds can only be issued for tickets cancelled at least two weeks (fourteen calendar days) in advance of the event date. Please note that this supersedes our normal event terms and conditions.

Financial assistance

The Potential Trust may be able to offer financial assistance to enable children to participate in Ri events and activities if this would otherwise be difficult. Please contact Anna Comino-James preferably via telephone on +44 (0)1844 351666, or at their email address

Ri Young Members receive 15% off workshops

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