Holiday workshops: How big is the universe? (age 13–15)

10.30am to 3.30pm, Friday 21 February

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

This event has already taken place

  • Credit: Tim Mitchell
  • Type

    Holiday Workshops
  • Audience

    Age 13–15

  • Speakers

    • Martin Yates


Standard £50

Ri Young Members £42.50

Event description

Discover how the universe works in this workshop with Martin Yates exploring questions such as: 

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?

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 amateur astronomer. He works with talented young mathematicians aiming to go on to one of the UK's top universities to study a mathematics-oriented degree such as physics, engineering or economics.

Martin has worked for many years applying mathematics to business decisions in industry and commerce.

Please note

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.

Discounted tickets are available to Ri Members. Find out more about how to join.

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 (14 calendar days) in advance of the event date. Please note that this supersedes our normal event terms and conditions.


Workshops are on the first floor of our building, for which there is step-free access from the street via lift.

The closest underground station is Green Park, which is step-free.

Seating is usually unreserved for our events. If you and your group require seating reservations, or if you have any other questions, please do let us know by email and we’ll be more than happy to help. Email:

Ri Young Members receive 15% off workshops

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