Dr Emma Chapman

Fellow since

Emma is an award-winning British physicist and Senior Royal Society Fellow at Nottingham University. She researches the light coming from the very first stars that appeared in the universe, right after the Big Bang.

Dr Emma Chapman

About Emma Chapman

Emma is an award-winning physicist at Nottingham University where she is looking for the first stars that appeared in the universe right after the Big Bang about 13 billion years ago. She observes that time using huge radio telescopes, brushing away the noise of our own Galaxy and decoding that ancient light, so that we can finally understand the history of our Universe. She has been the recipient of multiple commendations and prizes, including the Royal Society Athena Medal.

Unlike many of her colleagues, Emma never wanted to be an astrophysicist. Growing up, she thought she would decode ancient hieroglyphics and find lost tombs buried in the Egyptian sands. But one day she stumbled upon the subject of cosmology and read about the vast size of the Universe, how it began with a Big Bang, and how we had a missing billion-year gap in our knowledge of the first stars, galaxies and black holes. So she decided to devote herself to searching for those very first stars to light up our Universe.

Emma is passionate about sharing the wonders of space and discovery. Aside from regularly appearing on TV and radio, she also released her first popular science book in 2020, ‘First Light’. Outside the office, you will probably find her spending time with her three kids as well as reading, both fiction and non-fiction, including popular science and astronomy.

Garden Talks by Dr Emma Chapman