Martin Archer

Favourite Thing: I love presenting my work, showing other people what you and your colleagues have found out about the Universe is great and what science is all about!



Imperial College London


12 GSCEs, 5 A-Levels (Physics, Maths, Further Maths, Chemistry), MSci Physics with Theoretical Physics. Working on PhD in Space Physics (currently in my 3rd year).

Work History:

Been working on my PhD since 2010. I’ve also been a radio DJ on Kiss FM since 2007, which I still do. And I’ve popped up on the TV a fair few times to talk about Physics.

Current Job:

PhD in Space Physics


Imperial College London

Me and my work

Earth has a magnetic shield against the solar wind (hot gas that streams off the Sun) but this shield isn’t perfect, so I look at how things can get through and what the impact on us is.

My Typical Day

There isn’t really a typical day for me it’s rather varied…. apart from lots of cups of tea and plenty of socialising!

It really depends on what I’m doing.

If it’s just research then I’ll be at my computer working spacecraft data to work out what was going on with the plasma around the Earth. This often involves bouncing ideas off of colleagues/friends. We also go to lots of interesting seminars where other people in our group or from other institutions tell us about their work.

But I do get out of the office too! I present videos for a YouTube channel about topical Physics (here’s my latest one on comets); I pop up on the news on TV from time to time to discuss science stories (the asteroid & meteor a few weeks ago was a recent example); and I go to schools to teach people about DJing and how the Physics behind it can help you learn, but that the principles behind DJing are also the same as those used by research scientists in lots of different areas.

So as you can see…. rather varied!

What I'd do with the money

Go towards my “DJ Physics” project which teaches people the basics of DJing using Physics principles and how they span almost all research areas.

My Interview

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

Energetic, Driven, Loud

Who is your favourite singer or band?

I’m loving Disclosure at the moment

What is the most fun thing you've done?

I love skiing every year… going really fast!

If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!

What did you want to be after you left school?

I wasn’t really sure, all I knew is that I wanted to know more Physics!

Were you ever in trouble in at school?

Not that much really.

What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?

Explaining the latest science news on TV so that everyone can understand what we do and why we’re doing it.

Tell us a joke.

Other stuff

Work photos:

Earth’s magnetic shield from the solar wind… remember this is all invisible (apart from the Sun and Earth themselves)



I use satellites to measure things that are otherwise invisible (magnetic fields and plasmas). Here is a CGI image of the five THEMIS satellites I use orbiting the Earth. The aurora you can see are just one of the effects of space on us that I look into.