Session 138 Spring Schedule
The Challenge of Marketing New Photographic Chemistry
Tuesday 14 January 2014
What does a successful Government Chemist in the Civil Service do when boredom starts to set in? Most people would grit their teeth (particularly in the present economic climate) & carry on working their passage. Michael took the bold step of starting a second career in chemical manufacturing. More than 35years later he is still producing innovative photographic chemistry under the brand name 'SPEEDIBREWS'. His latest ventures are intended to overcome Chemiphobia in the general population with safe developers and a novel new photographic process that's a lot faster than conventional Ag+. Speedi-make it yourself cutting edge ideas.
How quantum physics democratized music
Tuesday 21 January
Connections between physics and technological invention and
aspects of human life that seem far from science are both unexpected
and unexpectedly common. And rather than flowing one way - from physics
to gadgets - the connections form an intricate web, linking all aspects
of human culture, in a way that frustrates our convenient
compartmentalisations and coarse interventions aimed at promoting
technology transfer. Michael will discuss this theme with examples,
ranging from music to the colour of gold.
I ♥ Computer Science
Prof Anthony Finkelstein, University College London
Tuesday 28 January 2014
From Vulcan's Forge to the Kingdom of Hades: What happens to chemistry and biology at extremes of pressure
Prof Paul McMillan, University College London
Tuesday 4 February 2014
Most of chemistry we know and are taught is derived from
observations made at or near the surface of the Earth, under an
atmospheric pressure of around 15 psi. All our rules concerning
molecular structure and chemical bonding including concepts such as
valency, preferred oxidation state as well as the relative ordering of
elements in the periodic table are made from these observations, that
imply a certain distribution of electrons around the atomic nuclei. But
what happens when the density is increased to more than twice or three
times that at 1 atmosphere, as exists deep inside planets and stars?
Does the chemistry of the elements change? That is one conclusion
emerging from recent theoretical and experimental studies under
extremely high compression. The results will change the way we think
about some of the most basic chemistry concepts. Life as we know it is
likewise concentrated at the surface of our planet. However sampling
expeditions to the deepest ocean trenches and below the rocky surface
are discovering life forms that exist happily to pressures nearly two
thousand times above atmospheric, and laboratory studies are revealing
survival of organisms to pressures exceeding 20,000 atm. Like chemistry
studies these high pressure biology experiments are causing us to
re-examine fundamental ideas about what factors set and constitute the
absolute limits for life.
Raising Cane – but the Beet goes on: a short history of competing sugar technologies
Tuesday 11 February 2014
Sugar is probably unique among food commodities in that it
can be commercially obtained from two very different plants: a
semi-tropical grass (sugar cane) and a temperate root (sugar beet).
This talk will explain how this situation arose, the differences in
technology used, and what the future might hold.
The Magic of Bubbles
Dr Cyril Isenberg, School of Engineering and Digital Arts, University of Kent
Tuesday 18 February
This demonstration talk will highlight some of the
spectacular visual properties of soap films and bubbles that have
remained largely unknown. Giant films and bubbles, that are not
spherical, will be demonstrated. Their colours, vibrational behaviour
and minimization properties will be investigated. An analogue bubble
computer will be constructed to solve the problem of the minimum roadway
linking a number of towns. Bubbles, films and drops exist in our food
and drink, in our washing up bowl, in the clouds; they are responsible
for cavitation and have applications in the medical treatment of kidney
stones, bubble chambers, cosmology… A world without bubbles is
The British Tommy of The Great War, his equipment, weapons and routine
Tuesday 25 February 2014
Purple Haze, Northern Lights…..do different strains of cannabis have different psychological effects?
Prof Valerie Curran, UCL Phycology
Tuesday 4 March 2014
Two thousand years ago, cannabis was an important medicine in both China and India. Today in the United States the approved medical use of marijuana is spreading and Uruguay has just become the first country in the world to make it legal to grow, sell and consume marijuana. Most research, however, has focused on the negative effects of cannabis rather than its hedonic or medicinal properties. We now know that there around a 100 different ingredients – ‘cannabinoids’ – in cannabis. THC is what makes people stoned but other ingredients moderate THC’s effects.
This talk will briefly review the desired effects of cannabis and four major areas of mental health harm: addiction, cognitive impairment, anxiety/depression and psychosis. We will ask what determines the marked individual variation in the experience of the psychological effects of cannabis and how relative levels of cannabinoids in different strains influence this. Finally we will ask how scientific knowledge of cannabis could inform drug policy.
Fizz Pop Whizz Bang! The chemistry behind special effects
Caroline Knapp, UCL
Postponed - now Tuesday 1 April 2014
Caroline will take us on a tour through the internet looking at some of the unusual methods behind special effects in the movies. Pre-CGI there was quite a bit of chemistry at work; from gory horrors, through sci-fi all the way to action, see some of the secrets revealed!
The Hotter the Better: The Barbarity and Beauty of Solid State Synthesis
Dr. Robert G. Palgrave, UCL
Tuesday 25 March 2014
Solid state chemistry can be barbaric. While the molecular chemist elegantly assembles their structures under kinetic control, like a conductor cajoling an orchestra to produce beautiful music, the solid state chemist will more than likely mix the elements he wants and heat them as hot as he can. There are several categories of solid state synthesis that work by setting your reactants on fire. So far this hasn’t caught on with the organic chemists. In this talk I’ll discuss the various kinds of solid state synthesis why high temperatures are necessary, and how the search for higher temperatures has enabled new synthesis. Finally, in the past few years, new techniques that allow kinetic control of solid state structure assembly have been developed, maybe signalling a new era of sophistication in solid state synthesis.
|You can see Session 138 Autumn Schedule here.|