Dr. ​Gianluca Sarri
Lecturer in Physics at Queen's University Belfast, UK
Outreach: Engagement with the Public

Some might argue that this is the most important part of our job. There is no use in discovery and progress if it cannot be shared with the public. Especially analytical sciences such as physics are commonly viewed as esoteric and cryptic. It is a central part of my work to make advanced research in physics accessible to the layman, to allow an audience as wide as possible to be astounded by the wonders of this discipline .   

Popular Science Articles

How to build a real lightsaber

Just before the release of the latest Star Wars movie, I was asked by The Conversation  to write a popular science article on the feasibility of building a lightsaber. The article is available here and it has gathered more than 360,000 readers worldwide. The article has attracted a lot of media attention as demonstrated by:

Articles in the Guardian , the Independent , the Daily Mail , and CNN : total of almost 2 million readers.

Live Interview at BBC Radio5  and ABC Australia
World’s most powerful laser is 2,000 trillion watts – but what’s it for?

Japan has recently built a laser able to deliver two thousand trillion watts in a single event. Cool... but what do we use it for? In this article  I try to answer this question. The article has already attracted more than 320,000 readers online
We’ve just started work on the technology to power a Star Trek style replicator

Sounds crazy, but this is actually one of my main areas of research. Lasers have in fact the possibility of generating matter out of vacuum, one of many counter-intuitive predictions of Quantum Mechanics.   In this article  I explain how it will work. The article has already attracted more than 90,000 readers online
How we recreated the early universe in the laboratory

The Universe at its infancy was indeed very different from what we see now. In fact, even matter itself was in a different state and, for some time matter and antimatter coexisted. Using high-intensity lasers, my group have recreated (in a small scale) conditions very similar to a very young Universe. The results are published here and summarised in a popular science article here
Crowdfunded ‘laser razor’ begs the question of what the technology can and can’t do

Recently a crowdfunded company claimed that they have built a laser razor. Before disappearing with all the money (needless to say, this laser razor never existed) the company was able to collect more than 1 million dollar from public donations. In this article , I explain why we need to be extremely cautious before believing in revolutionary breakthroughs in science and technology.

Northern Ireland Science Festival 2015


As part of the Northern Ireland Science Festival of 2015, I organised an interactive stand at the Ulster Museum to engage people with the marvels of optics and acoustics. We will take part to the next Festival in 2016 (details here ). In 2015, we attracted more than 10,000 visitors, with an overall appreciation of our stand exceeding 95%. 

Popping baloons with lasers at the NI Science Festival 2016
look out for second 38...

Media Coverage


1. Live interview with the morning show of ABC Australia News, the national TV channel in Australia.

2. Live interview on BBC Radio 5 Hit List, broadcasted live on Sunday the 13th of December 2015. Extract of the interview  here