Rafael Alves Batista
Physicist and astrobiologist
I’ve always liked to know about things, from tiny particles to galaxies. That’s why I decided to become a physicist. I wrote a doctoral dissertation – a kind of book a person has to write to achieve the title of ‘doctor’ (or PhD) — in a branch of physics called astroparticle physics, which basically studies the tiniest things in space.
Nowadays, I work in astrobiology, which studies life in the universe. Astrobiologists attempt to answer questions such as: how life came to exist, how it evolved, and where we can find it. When I say ‘life’, I’m talking about all kinds of living things including bacteria, and plants. I find this absolutely fascinating. We only know of life on Earth, but why shouldn’t there be something else out there, like bacteria, or even bigger animals?
My work is very social. I chat with many colleagues every day. I often get to travel to very cool places all over the world, meeting new people, getting to know new places, and tasting the local cuisine. My job is fun!
Rafael is our Microbeasts box champion.
I love being a scientist because...
I like trying to understand how the universe works.
The most awesome thing I have done so far is...
I have built a detector to see tracks left by particles coming from outer space.
My heroes are...
Albert Einstein, a great scientist who was also trying to make the world a better and a more peaceful place.
At primary school my favourite thing to do was...
Build things using all kinds of recycled objects.