“Supermassive black holes have loads of weird and interesting physics going on that excites me”

Matt Fahey (pictured in front of the iconic Williamson Park Ashton Memorial in Lancaster), a fourth year MPhys Astrophysics student from near Oxford, is the newest member of the XGAL team, joining for a Masters studying Lyman-Alpha haloes around Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) after having really enjoyed working with David for his third-year group project on AGN. His work is hoping to see if the Lyman-Alpha haloes around AGN look any different to those around star-forming galaxies and using them to understand the way the galaxy containing it evolves. 

AGNs are Matt’s current interest and research focus, but he’s also always been interested in neutron stars, due to the insanely high energy that these stars harbour and the opportunities for collaboration between astrophysicists and particle physicists (who often have a bit of a rivalry). For Matt, there are certain things he wished he’d heard as a fresher or early on in his degree which he wanted to share, these two being key lessons he has learnt:

Don’t be afraid to ask questions, the only silly question is the one that doesn’t get asked. 

Don’t be afraid of coding, it can be a bit daunting at first, but it will make sense in the end!

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