My background is one of theoretical physics, which is pretty closely related to astrophysics. It included things like quite a heavy analysis of quantum mechanics, and in fact part of the course was a course specifically about astrophysics.
I got to be very good at physics – I’d have got a first-class degree had I been able to get up in time for lectures in my second year. By the time that I left college, I was talking to astrophysics tutors about continuing a doctorate in something to do with astrophysics. In the end, however, I wanted finally to have two pennies to rub together, so went into industry. And I can’t complain – I did very well for myself and enjoyed immensely solving technical problems, but the most rewarding thing was seeing how I used to float to the top even amongst people who had more experience, and education, in things computing. But I always retained a deep affection for astrophysics.
In the bath this morning I was listening to my Audible subscription – I’ve blogged about this before (here) but not for a while. I was listening to recordings of an old Radio 4 programme, The Infinite Monkey Cage. In the UK, Radio 4 is the “intelligent” station, mostly talk-based and quite highbrow. This programme features the famous “tv-professor” Brian Cox, and is broadly centred on astrophysics, Wonderful.