Helen Czerski

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Helen Czerski
Helen Czerski at Thinking Digital 2012.jpg
Helen Czerski at Thinking Digital 2012
Manchester, England[1]
Alma materChurchill College, Cambridge
Known forOceanography
Television presenter
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Cambridge
University of Toronto
Los Alamos National Laboratory
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Graduate School of Oceanography (University of Rhode Island)[2][3]
University of Southampton
University College London
ThesisIgnition of HMX and RDX (2006)

Helen Czerski is a British physicist and oceanographer and television presenter. She is a Research Fellow in the department of mechanical engineering at University College London.[4][5][6] She was previously at the Institute for Sound and Vibration Research at the University of Southampton.[7]

Helen Czerski at the 2013 Cambridge Science Festival

Personal life[edit]

Czerski was brought up in Altrincham, near Manchester, and educated at Altrincham Grammar School for Girls.[8] She graduated from Churchill College, Cambridge, with degrees Master of Arts and Master of Science in Natural Sciences (Physics) and a PhD[9] in experimental explosives physics, particularly Research Department Explosive (RDX).[1]


Czerski is a regular science presenter for the BBC. Her programmes have included:

  • Orbit: Earth's Extraordinary Journey, a three-part series on BBC Two, March 2012, co-presented with Kate Humble.[10]
  • Operation Iceberg, a two-part series on BBC Two, October 2012.[11]
  • The Transit of Venus, BBC Two, June 2012, Horizon.[12]
  • Stargazing Challenges, BBC Two.
  • Dara Ó Briain's Science Club, BBC Two.
  • The Secret Life of the Sun, BBC Two, July 2013.[13]
  • Pop! The Science of Bubbles, BBC Four, April 2013.[14]
  • The £10 Million Challenge, a Horizon which launched the Longitude Prize 2014.[15]
  • What's Wrong with Our Weather?, July 2014, Horizon, co-presented with meteorologist John Hammond, which examined the possible causes of Britain's recent extreme weather and what connects all the recent extreme winters.[16]
  • Super Senses: The Secret Power of Animals, August 2014, a three-part series for BBC Two.[17]
  • Colour: The Spectrum of Science, November 2015, a three-part series for BBC Four on the 15 colours that tell the story of the Earth, life and scientific discovery.[18]
  • Dangerous Earth, November 2016, a six-part series for the BBC showing how new camera technology is revealing the inner workings of the Earth's most spectacular natural wonders.
  • The Infinite Monkey Cage - "The Science of Everyday Life", BBC Radio 4, 16 January 2017.
  • Sound Waves: The Symphony of Physics, March 2017, a two-part series.
  • From Ice to Fire: The Incredible Science of Temperature, February 2018, a three-part series.
  • WMG Future Batteries | Fully Charged, 20 February 2019.[19]
  • Ocean Autopsy: The Secret Story of Our Seas, June 2020, a 90-minute film.[20]
  • Royal Institution Christmas Lectures - Planet Earth: A user's guide, December 2020, BBC Four series[21][22]

She has also appeared on The Museum of Curiosity (BBC Radio 4) and is an occasional presenter of the web TV and podcast show Fully Charged.

Czerski has a regular column in BBC Focus magazine and was shortlisted in for columnist of the year at the 2014 PPA Awards.[23]


In 2018 Czerski won the William Thomson, Lord Kelvin Medal and Prize from the Institute of Physics for her contributions to championing the physics of everyday life to a worldwide audience of millions through TV programmes, a popular science book, newspaper columns, and public talks.[24]


Czerski is a regular contributor to BBC Focus in the column "Everyday Science" and the Wall Street Journal in the column "Everyday Physics".[25]


Czerski's research[26] focuses on temperature, ocean bubbles, bubble acoustics, air-sea gas transfer and ocean bubble optics.[7][27][28][29][30][31][32][33][34][35][36][37][38][excessive citations]


  • Storm in a Teacup: The Physics of Everyday Life. Bantam Press, 2016. ISBN 0593075420 whose version in Italian translation won the third edition (2018) of Premio ASIMOV[39] (Asimov award) for the best book in scientific dissemination published in Italy.
  • Czerski, Helen (1 November 2018). Bubbles. illus. Chris Moore. London: Ladybird Books. ISBN 978-0-7181-8829-0.


  1. ^ a b "Helen Czerski biography". Helenczerski.net. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  2. ^ "News – University of Rhode Island". Uri.edu. 21 January 2010. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
  3. ^ "Helen Czerski". Helen Czerski. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
  4. ^ Clayton, Jeremy (13 June 2014). "Government seeks your views about how to spend £6bn on science | Jeremy Clayton | Science". theguardian.com. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
  5. ^ "Iris View Profile". Iris.ucl.ac.uk. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
  6. ^ Chambers, Chris (10 June 2014). "Physics envy: Do 'hard' sciences hold the solution to the replication crisis in psychology? | Chris Chambers | Science". theguardian.com. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
  7. ^ a b "Dr Helen Czerski :: University of Southampton". Southampton.ac.uk. Archived from the original on 7 March 2012. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
  8. ^ Bowen, Rick (8 March 2012). "Altrincham raised scientist fronting major BBC series". Messenger Newspapers.
  9. ^ Czerski, Helen (2006). Ignition of HMX and RDX (PhD thesis). University of Cambridge.
  10. ^ "BBC Two -Orbit: Earth's Extraordinary Journey, Episode 1". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
  11. ^ "BBC Two – Operation Iceberg". BBC.
  12. ^ "BBC Two – Horizon, 2011–2012, The Transit of Venus". BBC.
  13. ^ "BBC Two – The Secret Life of the Sun". BBC.
  14. ^ "TV work". Helen Czerski. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
  15. ^ "BBC Two – Horizon, The 拢10 Million Challenge". BBC.
  16. ^ "BBC Two -Horizon: What's Wrong with Our Weather?". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 17 July 2014.
  17. ^ "BBC – New BBC Two NHU series explores super senses of animal world in Beyond Human – Media centre". bbc.co.uk.
  18. ^ "BBC – Colour: The Spectrum of Science". bbc.co.uk.
  19. ^ WMG (Warwick Manufacturing Group) Future Batteries : Fully Charged (YouTube). fullychargedshow. 20 February 2019. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  20. ^ "Ocean Autopsy: The Secret Story of Our Seas". BBC Four. Retrieved 21 October 2020.
  21. ^ "Royal Institution Christmas Lectures". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 29 December 2020.
  22. ^ "CHRISTMAS LECTURES 2020: Planet Earth: A user's guide". www.rigb.org. Retrieved 30 August 2020.
  23. ^ "PPA Awards 2014". Professional Publishers Association. 10 July 2014. Archived from the original on 22 August 2014. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  24. ^ Physics, Institute of. "IOP Award Winners 2018". www.iop.org. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  25. ^ https://www.wsj.com/news/types/everyday-physics[bare URL]
  26. ^ Helen Czerski publications indexed by Microsoft Academic
  27. ^ Vagle, S.; Gemmrich, J.; Czerski, H. (2012). "Reduced upper ocean turbulence and changes to bubble size distributions during large downward heat flux events". Journal of Geophysical Research. 117 (C7): n/a. Bibcode:2012JGRC..117.0H16V. doi:10.1029/2011JC007308.
  28. ^ Twardowski, M.; Zhang, X.; Vagle, S.; Sullivan, J.; Freeman, S.; Czerski, H.; You, Y.; Bi, L.; Kattawar, G. (2012). "The optical volume scattering function in a surf zone inverted to derive sediment and bubble particle subpopulations". Journal of Geophysical Research. 117 (C7): n/a. Bibcode:2012JGRC..117.0H17T. doi:10.1029/2011JC007347.
  29. ^ Czerski, H. (2012). "An Inversion of Acoustical Attenuation Measurements to Deduce Bubble Populations" (PDF). Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology. 29 (8): 1139–1148. Bibcode:2012JAtOT..29.1139C. doi:10.1175/JTECH-D-11-00170.1.
  30. ^ Czerski, H.; Twardowski, M.; Zhang, X.; Vagle, S. (2011). "Resolving size distributions of bubbles with radii less than 30μm with optical and acoustical methods". Journal of Geophysical Research. 116 (C7): C00H11. Bibcode:2011JGRC..116.0H11C. doi:10.1029/2011JC007177.
  31. ^ Czerski, H.; Vagle, S.; Farmer, D. M.; Hall-Patch, N. (2011). "Improvements to the methods used to measure bubble attenuation using an underwater acoustical resonator". The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 130 (5): 3421–3430. Bibcode:2011ASAJ..130.3421C. doi:10.1121/1.3569723. PMID 22088016.
  32. ^ Czerski, H. (2011). "A candidate mechanism for exciting sound during bubble coalescence". The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 129 (3): EL83–EL88. Bibcode:2011ASAJ..129L..83C. doi:10.1121/1.3553175. PMID 21428472.
  33. ^ Czerski, H.; Deane, G. B. (2011). "The effect of coupling on bubble fragmentation acoustics". The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 129 (1): 74–84. Bibcode:2011ASAJ..129...74C. doi:10.1121/1.3514416. PMID 21302989.
  34. ^ Czerski, H.; Deane, G. B. (2010). "Contributions to the acoustic excitation of bubbles released from a nozzle". The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 128 (5): 2625–2634. Bibcode:2010ASAJ..128.2625C. doi:10.1121/1.3484087. PMID 21110560.
  35. ^ Deane, G. B.; Czerski, H. (2008). "A mechanism stimulating sound production from air bubbles released from a nozzle" (PDF). The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 123 (6): EL126–EL132. Bibcode:2008ASAJ..123L.126D. doi:10.1121/1.2908198. PMID 18537298.
  36. ^ Czerski, H.; Brown, L. M. (2008). "Application of the slip circle construction to a spherical indenter". Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics. 41 (7): 074001. doi:10.1088/0022-3727/41/7/074001.
  37. ^ Czerski, H.; Proud, W. G. (2007). "Relationship between the morphology of granular cyclotrimethylene-trinitramine and its shock sensitivity". Journal of Applied Physics. 102 (11): 113515–113515–8. Bibcode:2007JAP...102k3515C. doi:10.1063/1.2818106.
  38. ^ Czerski, H.; Greenaway, M. W.; Proud, W. G.; Field, J. E. (2004). "Β-δ phase transition during dropweight impact on cyclotetramethylene-tetranitroamine". Journal of Applied Physics. 96 (8): 4131. Bibcode:2004JAP....96.4131C. doi:10.1063/1.1790067.
  39. ^ http://home.infn.it/it/comunicazione/news/2871-helen-czerski-e-marco-malvaldi-vincono-ex-aequo-il-premio-asimov-2018

External links[edit]

External media
audio icon "Episode 1, Dr Helen Czerski & Clive Thompson", Ada Lovelace Day Podcast
video icon "Bubble Physicist Helen Czerski", University of Rhode Island
video icon "CS4 Interview: Helen Czerski ", University of Southampton