I graduated with a degree majoring in physics and minoring in philosophy from University College London in 2016. I loved this combination because it allowed me to focus on the theoretical side of physics, whilst also being able to keep my mind open to the broader questions that philosophy encourages you to ask. Asking the big questions, I believe, is something one should never stop doing – as strange as it can feel to sit and ponder over our own existence or what else is out there! You don’t have to be a scientist to ask these questions and you certainly don’t have to be a scientist to be interested in the thoughts surrounding them.  

After my undergraduate I worked for a UK Space Mission to learn more about the exoplanets in our galaxy. Exoplanets are planets which orbit stars, like our sun, in different solar systems. Why I love this particular topic in Astrophysics so much, is that it reminds us just how very tiny we are. In the universe there are at least 100 billion galaxies. In our galaxy alone there are 100 billion stars which means there could be as many as 40 billion Earth-like planets. We are one planet and we are unimaginably tiny. The human race should be restless to learn more about what else is out there, surely we can’t be content with the affairs the happen on this pale blue dot alone?

Between 2017-2018 I studied MSc Theoretical Physics at Kings College London, graduating with a distinction. After this I began an Astrophysics PhD at University College London but soon realised I was committed to theoretical physics and the study of gravity. From October 2019, I joined the Gravity Group at the University of Southampton. Here my PhD research focuses on gravitational wave emission from intermediate-mass-ratio black hole inspirals. This is a fascinating area at the forefront of theoretical physics, combining gravity, black holes and space missions.

I have always loved to write about science and I find it greatly helps me consolidate my understanding of ideas. I know that everyone asks themselves “big” questions at one time or another but then they get all too quickly distracted with something else. Often it is asked, what good is it to ask such questions, what benefit will it bring us now? I believe we should be impatient to ask such questions because we are fortunate enough as a species to be able to be here and to actually do so – which in itself seems very special indeed. Of course direct benefits may not occur in our life time, or the next, but if we continue to ask these questions we continually progress on the path to rationalising the universe.

If you have a blog you think I would enjoy, please leave a comment below and I shall be sure to check it out. I hope my articles interest you and leave you wanting to know more.

26 responses to “mekhi

  1. Good luck with the MSc next year at Kings. I used to work around the corner from Kings physics department, during my aborted foray into chartered accountancy (at what are now the offices of Deloittes, but were the offices of Arthur Andersen at the time).

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Hi Mekhi

    Is it possible you or Joseph could one of you please explain why the
    Earth is travelling at exactly the right velocity relative to the sun for it to stay in orbit? I understand if it weren’t for the sun curving the fabric of spacetime that the Earth would in fact move in a straight line. But in order to stay in orbit around the sun it must be moving at a rate faster than it’s “free fall” speed, right? So how did it generate that level of speed in relation to the sun? How is it moving greater than it’s free fall speed at all, and then secondly, how is it moving at exactly the right rate to stay in orbit?

    I hope you can help!

    Kind Regards

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Denise,

      It’s not so much that the sun is travelling at exactly the right velocity to maintain it’s orbit, but rather it has that speed due to the position of it’s orbit. In the formation of planets we think of the matter forming a swirling disc, in which a kind of “sorting” process happens where certain substances get pushed further out on the disk and certain substances stay in the centre (for example icy materials are gaseous near the sun so do not stay put). As little particles in the disk clump together they then have gravitational attraction – clumps attract other clumps and eventually the matter gets pulled to its closest neighbor sweeping out a nice clean path. In the outer regions where it is cold gasses wouldn’t vaporize meaning the outer planets are able to attract much more matter, forming large gas giants. So you see to ask how Earth has the “right” velocity paints an image of a whole Earth being fired into the gravitational field of the sun which isn’t accurate. The Earth was formed in the gravitational field from a swirling disc of gas and matter…. does that make any sense?



      Liked by 1 person

    • Further to Joseph’s explanations, Denise, planetary orbits are not necessarily fixed. Jupiter (and Uranus or another gas giant), for example, and as far as I can remember from what I learnt, had migrated several times before settling to its current orbit.


  3. Actually it does make sense but I don’t think I’ve worded my question properly. I just want to know how gravity affects acceleration. The earth has to accelerate to stay in orbit. How does the curvature of spacetime lead to acceleration of planet earth around the sun?

    Thank you

    Liked by 2 people

    • Acceleration is defined as the rate of change of velocity, and velocity is defined as the rate of change of position – so you see when we move in a circle, we can move with constant speed and a non-constant velocity, or an acceleration. The nature of objects moving in a circle can create some effects that are a little unusual – water not falling from a spinning bucket, or the g-force you feel if you take a corner a little too hot in a car. Earth is moving at a speed of around 3km a second, oriented straight in-front and there is a “force”, gravity tugging the Earth towards the center of the sun. If you imagine tying a rope around a child (best not actually do this) and getting them to run in a line, but keep on tugging them you will get a circle. It is the same with the Earth; it’s just the tugs are gravity. We now know this is caused by curvature in spacetime. Does that make any sense?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. To Mekhi. I think it may be of your interest to know about the discovery of the Nature of Gravity and its Mechanical Explanation, including the full elucidation of the enigmatic Dark Matter and Dark Energy, a 4-pages summary can be found in . Feel free and easy to contact me about. Thanks in advance for your kind consideration.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Mekhi,
    I feel delighted and also very nostalgic that you cited Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot. What an inspirational life he had! The series “Cosmos” is such a watershed for its breadth and depth, not to mention Vangelis’ music. Thank you.

    May you also enjoy (and rationalise) my multidisciplinary and multimedia website!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello, thank you – I’m glad you too are a Sagan fan, whenever I need to put things into perspective I always think of Pale Blue Dot! Also yes Vangelis – excellent, blade runner soundtrack is one of my favourites. I shall be sure to check out your site, thanks again for the comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. To Mekhi. I wish I could have also minored in philosophy simultaneously with my physics, but the system here is different, and questions like our existence and like are we in a hologram or a matrioshka brain chill me. Honestly, no offence meant, after reading you bio I got a bit jealous because you just finished your BSc and got into a project and that to related to cosmology(I LOVE IT), which is really big, and I wish I could too. Anyways, all the best for the project, and I really liked your last article. Do check out my blog too, and I would love if you could help me with some reviews. And yes hello. I love this blog of yours and Joseph’s.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you very much for your comment! I’m very happy you appreciate the combination of subjects, it really does bring up the most fascinating questions doesn’t it! I wish you the best of luck with your work and I hope you always keep up the interest in phys&phil – i’ll be sure to check out your blog

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Interesting bio!

    When I was an undergraduate at the University of Illinois, the most popular minor for undergraduates majoring in physics was philosophy.

    Just found your blog this morning. It looks quite promising!


    • Thank you very much! Yes I think it’s a great combination, though it seems to be quite unpopular here in the UK which surprises me. I hope you enjoy the blog and look forward to any comments you may have on our posts!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I’d like to adopt the motto from Feynman (at the top), “Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible.” This is what I have been doing forever, it seems.


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