Gravity is the weakest of the four fundamental forces, but is the most important when it comes to planets, starts, solar systems, galaxies and the whole universe! I spend my time studying gravity using computers. I enjoy this a great deal because I get to combine my love of mathematics with my enjoyment of programming with my sense of wonder at the world.
The branch of mathematics that I use is called Differential Geometry which allows me to do geometry (i.e. study lengths and angles and distances) on curved surfaces. For example have you ever thought what a triangle on a ball would look like? The Wikipedia page on Spherical trigonometry has some good links for investigating further.
I use a programming language called Python because it’s easy to use and fast to programme with. I use Python to compute things like the “gravitational radiation” given off by pairs of black holes. There are some very big machines all around the world that are trying to detect this type of radiation. If we could detect it we could use it to study the universe: it would give us another way to see the stars.
At the moment I’m using my program to study some assumptions that people in my area of research make about what gravity looks like very far away from things like black holes. This is important because these assumptions are used to perform calculations which are used to interpret the data produced by those big machines.
Some fun gravity/physics things: