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Steve Bradshaw - solar guides


Hi, my name's Steve Bradshaw:


Where were you born?
You might have heard of the expression, "being sent to Coventry"? If you're sent to Coventry it means that no one will talk to you. Fortunately for me, after being born in Coventry, I was able to escape at the age of two! I haven't stopped talking since.


Image of Aberystwyth bayWhere do you work?
I now work at the University of Rice, Houston, Texas. I used to work at Imperial College, London and the University of Cambridge. Before that, I studied 'Space Physics' at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. Aberystwyth is one of my favourite places in the whole world. It’s a seaside town and the surrounding countryside is absolutely spectacular. I also spent just over a year working for a software company in the (some might say) dream job of writing computer games!


Aberystwyth (photo by Andreas Ollenburg)


What aspect of the Sun do you study?
I'm particularly interested in the loop structures which we see with SOHO and TRACE in the solar atmosphere. I have built some computer models to try and predict the way in which these loops are heated and cool down. I have to compare my models with the real observations, which are often very complicated.


Image of a loop from the Sun


I only model one loop at a time, but actually, as you can see here from this TRACE image, there are usually lots of loops!



Relaxing on holiday in the Sun!

Image of Steve relaxing in the Sun








What do you do in your spare time?
I'm a firm believer in the saying, "healthy body, healthy mind" and so I still practise Karate, which I began at the age of 8. I'm currently a 2nd dan black belt. I'm rather tall at 6'4" and enjoyed playing basketball at Cambridge University. When I'm not taking part in healthy, sporting activity at the weekends I'm usually to be found undoing all of the good work in the various pubs and nightclubs Cambridge has to offer! I even do some DJ-ing! It's a busy life, but always a fun and rewarding one!



Image of Richard FeynmanWhich famous scientist do you like best?
Professor Richard Feynman, winner of the Nobel Prize for physics in 1965. He has been described as the most brilliant physicist of the 20th Century and he believed that it's important to be honest and trustworthy, no matter what you do. I'll let him have the last word - "I was always worried about the physics. If the idea looked lousy, I said it looked lousy. If it looked good, I said it looked good. Simple proposition. I've always lived that way. It's nice, it's pleasant - if you can do it. I'm lucky in my life that I can do this." - Richard P. Feynman.


Richard P. Feynman




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