The Life of Brian

Ahead of his hotly anticipated live show at Sheffield City Hall on October 6th, we look back at six times renowned physicist Professor Brian Cox blew our tiny little minds.

The Sun’s Energy
“It’s four hundred million million million million watts. That is a million times the power consumption of the United States every year, radiated in one second, and we worked that out by using some water, a thermometer, a tin, and an umbrella. And that’s why I love physics.”

The End Of The Universe
“As it [the sun] begins to run out of fuel, its core will collapse, and the extra heat this generates will cause its outer layers to expand. In around a billion years’ time this will have a catastrophic effect on our fragile world. In 6 billion years our sun will explode. The fate of the sun is the same as for all stars: one day they all must die and the cosmos will be plunged into eternal night. By this point the universe will be a hundred-trillion years old.”

“Every mountain, every rock on this planet, every living thing, every piece of you and me was forged in the furnaces of space… Every carbon atom in every living thing on the planet was produced in the heart of a dying star.”

The Speed Of Light
“Light travels at precisely 299,792, 458 metres per second. That means that in the time it takes to click my fingers light has travelled around the world seven times.”

“The fact that energy is neither created nor destroyed has a profound implication: it means it is eternal. The energy we have now has always been here, and the story of the universe is basically the transformation of that energy from one form to another – from the origin of the first galaxies to the ignition of the first stars and the formation of the first planets.”

Giant Insects
“There was a time in the Earth’s history, around 300 million years ago, when giant insects roamed the planet. Dragonflies with wingspans the size of a hawk soared in the air and millipedes over a metre in length darted around. Current thinking suggests that it was the oxygen-rich atmosphere that existed during the Paleozoic era that allowed giant insects to thrive.”

Professor Brian Cox Live comes to Sheffield City Hall on 6th Oct. Get tickets and more info at

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