I got to simulate the motion of photons in contracting spacetime

Richard Mann
Richard Mann
Undergraduate student
MPhys Theoretical Physics
Richard spent last summer on the Sheffield Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) scheme — a six-to-eight week project that allows undergraduate students to conduct their own research. For his project, Richard simulated the motion of photons in contracting spacetime.

The Sheffield Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) scheme allowed me to work under the supervision of Dr Sam Dolan producing independent research in an area that fascinates me. With the help of Sam, I was given a crash course in the areas of general relativity that I needed to start the project.

'Shadows of Colliding Black Holes' was my project title, and for it I got to simulate the motion of photons in contracting spacetime. I went to Sam to do my SURE due to his current research in black hole physics. He gave me the idea and we started filling out the application.


SURE showed me that I am suited to independent research and a PhD.

Richard Mann

Theoretical Physics MPhys


I wanted to do SURE because it is great experience that improves independent thinking, time management, and gives students the opportunity to work alongside PhD students. These PhD students gave me great insight into what it would be like to do a doctorate, which was another reason why I decided to take part in SURE — the first-hand experience of what it is like to do a PhD.

This helped with the looming decision: what to do after the MPhys? SURE helped me make this decision by showing me I am suited to independent research and a PhD.

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