…And Icarus Flew

…And Icarus Flew

Postgraduate colloquium, May 2015/Maths and Physical Sciences Faculty PhesDival, June 2016

Merry-Joseph Blondel’s The fall of Icarus, painted in 1819 as a fresco in the Palais du Louvre

In Greek mythology, Icarus—son of the master craftsman Daedalus—on wings made of feather and wax, flew too close to the sun: the wax melted and Icarus fell into the Icarian Sea, where he drowned.  In this talk, I will introduce some of the main concepts of flight and chart humankind’s discovery of them; discoveries that have allowed us to go from developing more aerodynamic spears to inventing vehicles that fly hundreds of times faster than Icarus could ever fly and sending spacecraft distances greater than Icarus ever thought existed.​