UCL Science Centre

All are welcome, admission is free and no booking or tickets are required.

Science Lectures for 6th Formers & Teachers
Summer Term 2014
9th May
Flu Pandemics – Making Vaccines when we need them most Dr Tarit Mukhopadhyay
UCL Department of Biochemical Engineering
16th May
Light: Glowing Fish and how to make Lasers
Dr Elinor Bailey
UCL Department of Physics & Astronomy
23rd May
Engineering Structures: Design & Calculation
Dr John Eyre
UCL Department of Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering
30th May
No lecture (School half term)  
6th June
Radioactivity: Properties, Hazards and Uses of Ionising Radiation – a Demonstration Lecture
Mr John Makepeace
National Physics Laboratory
13th June
International year of Crystallography - DNA, Proteins and Drug Design
Professor Bonnie Wallace
Institute of Structural and Molecular Biology
Birkbeck University of London
20th June
Planetary Geology & Geophysics – Latest Discoveries and the Search for Life in the Solar System
Dr Dominic Fortes
UCL Department of Earth Sciences
27th June
What is a Quantum Computer?
Dr Dan Browne
UCL Department of Physics & Astronomy
Promoted jointly with the Institute of Physics and Institute of Mathematics and its Applications

Disclaimer: The Science Centre and UCL disclaim all responsibility for any information presented in these lectures. We assume no responsibility or liability for any information, materials or other content provided by any of the lecturers. All content is viewed and used by you at your own risk and we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of any of the information. The views expressed are those of the individual contributors and not necessarily those of the institution.

Place

Science Centre Map




All talks are held in the Chemistry Auditorium which is in the Christopher Ingold Building (Chemistry), 20 Gordon Street, WC1H 0AJ in the Autumn and Spring Terms. In the Summer Term, lectures are held in the Harrie Massey Lecture Theatre (entrance in Gower Court, off Gower Place).

The Lecture Theatres are close to Euston Rail & Bus Stations, and convenient for the Underground. The nearest Tube Stations are Euston Square and Euston Station. Parking facilities for school buses are available, with prior arrangement.

Time

All talks are held on Fridays at 6.30pm and last for approximately 1 hour, followed by a max. of 30mins discussion. Tea and coffee are available free from 5.30pm onwards.

Audience

Talks are free and no tickets or pre-booking are required. The talks are aimed at sixth form students and teachers, but are frequently attended (and enjoyed) by members of the public, teachers, academics and undergraduates. There is usually a lively Q&A session at the end of the talk. Sixth form & fifth form (year 11) students are welcome with or without a teacher.

Other Assistance

Sadiq1.jpg

Articles and Books relevant to the Centre's lectures are available for consultation before each talk. The Centre also provides an information service for science teachers and 5th & 6th form students concerning visits to research centres and laboratories. The Centre also has a library of scientific articles and books.

The Science Centre was set up by Dr Sadiq Kadifachi in 1987 and has been hosted at UCL since 1997. Sadiq can be contacted at:
Department of Physics & Astronomy, UCL, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT.
Telephone: 020 7679 3497 (Direct), 020 7679 7144 (Administrator), Fax: 020 7679 7145
Email: s.kadifachi@ucl.ac.uk

Past lecturers include:

Professors: Sir Hermann Bondi FRS; Julia Goodfellow; Dame Julia Higgins FRS; Sir John Mason FRS; Sir Robert May FRS; Sir Roger Penrose FRS; Janet Thornton FRS; Bonnie Wallace; Maurice Wilkins FRS (Nobel Laureate)

Recent lecturers:

porter



Dr Mike Porter (UCL Chemistry Department) giving a demonstration lecture on ‘chemistry through the looking glass’

green


Prof. Michael Green FRS (Cambridge University) giving a lecture on ‘superstrings theory’, in the Chemistry Auditorium theatre.
2009

‘The first talk we attended entitled ‘chemistry through the looking glass’ (by Dr Mike Porter) was very informative and had several demonstrations to help understand mirror molecules. It was fascinating to find out that these molecules have different properties even though they have the same atoms in the molecule. These molecules exist naturally and can also be man made and each mirror molecule can have a different effect on the body. Thalidomide is one of these molecules where the left hand molecule causes deformities in babies and the right hand molecule relieves morning sickness.

The second was a discussion about ‘superstring theory’, (by Prof. Michael Green) and the current understanding of how the Universe is made up. Students again were intrigued to find out that there is a Planck distance and a Planck time, which appear to be the fundamental measures of distance and time.

We have brought between 30 and 40 students, mainly sixth form and have discussed the talks with enthusiasm and all of them have requested that we attend more talks which we intend to do.’

Lynn Peek, Chemistry teacher.

Southend High School for Boys, Southend-on-Sea, Essex.


‘How I wish we had had this opportunity so many years ago when I was thinking about University. Here I am now, having only just discovered the UCL Science Centre lectures, reorganising my life so as to fit them in.

Hugely instructive, great fun and with insights on the cutting edge of discovery, they have woken my son (who goes to Acland Burghley School) up to the delights of science and several contemporary acquaintances too. I was struck by the interest, the absorption, of the young people who had given up their time to attend. This was not a game or an entertainment, this was about their lives and where they wanted to be sometime in the not too distant future.

The lectures are always full to overflowing. The atmosphere is great. All we need now is the new year list of subjects.’

David Green, London

Parent

zochowski



Dr Stan Zochowski (UCL Physics and Astronomy) giving a lecture demonstration on magnetism. This sixth form student is cooling a piece of Terbium to liquid nitrogen temperature.

Comments by 6th-formers

Dear Dr Kadifachi,
I am writing simply to express my thanks for the most recent set of lectures that you produced. It was such a relief to see the principles that one reads about in books explained and to have questions answered. It is sad that the syllabus at GCSE and A-Level does not allow teachers and students to discuss any physics that is not on the course, and from the three lectures I attended a fair number of issues that I was not quite at ease with were addressed with clarity. It is indeed a pity that more students did not attend the lectures, and next term I will urge my colleagues even more to come! I have put my name and address on one of those envelopes and look forward to next term's speakers.
Thanks again
Yours faithfully,
Joseph Wass
Hampton School


We have enjoyed coming to these lectures, and the chance they have provided us to find out more about such interesting subjects has been very rewarding.
Jo Hall and Felicity Weatherby
Dr Challoner's High School

Spring Term 2014
24th January
How to Win a Nobel Prize or How the Scientific Method Works: Using Nobel Prizes in Chemistry - a Demonstration Lecture Dr Dewi Lewis
UCL Department of Chemistry
31st January
From Trilobites to Tyrannosaurus: Examining long-term Trends of Body-Size Evolution in the Fossil Record
Dr Mark Bell
UCL Department of Earth Sciences
7th February
X-Rays, the two Braggs and how they anticipated Nanotechnology and the Quest for Medical Sensors
Professor Ian Robinson
UCL Department of Physics & Astronomy & London Centre for Nanotechnology
14th February
Stuff Matters: From Synthetic Skin to Spacecraft
Professor Mark Miodownik
UCL Department of Mechanical Engineering
21st February
No lecture (School half term)  
28th February
Right Hand, Left Hand: The Origins of Asymmetry in Brains, Bodies, Atoms & Cultures
Professor Chris McManus
UCL Faculty of Life & Medical Sciences
7th March
Cosmology: Does Dark Matter Exist and, if so, what is it?
Dr Andrew Pontzen
UCL Department of Physics & Astronomy
14th March
Bionic Hearing: The Physiology & Biomedical Engineering of Natural Hearing
Professor Ian Shipsey
Department of Physics, University of Oxford
21st March
A Journey throught 2500 years of Codes & Ciphers
Dr Jenny Sharp
School of Computing & Mathematics, University of Plymouth
Autumn Term 2013
4th October
Solar Eruptions, Earth’s Magnetic Field & Why Space Weather is Important to Modern Society Dr Anasuya Aruliah
Atmospheric Physics Laboratory
UCL Department of Physics & Astronomy
11th October
Liquid Crystals & 3D Displays with Prospects for ‘Real’ Virtual Reality: Hologram – a Demonstration Lecture
Dr Sally Day
UCL Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering
18th October
The Influence of Chinese Science & Technology on the European Scientific Revolution
Dr Andrew Gregory
UCL Department of Science & Technology Studies
25th October
No lecture (School half term)  
1st November
No lecture (School half term)  
8th November
Catalytic Science for the Future: Using Synchrotron Radiation & Laser Facilities to Develop New Fuels, Batteries, Materials & a Cleaner Environment
Dr Josie Goodall
UK Catalysis Hub, Research Complex at Harwell,
Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
15th November
The Formation of Elements since the Big Bang - A Demonstration Lecture
Dr Graeme Hogarth
UCL Department of Chemistry
22nd November
Artificial Intelligence & Robotics
Professor Peter McOwan
School of Electronic Engineering & Computer Science
Queen Mary, University of London
29th November
Antimatter in the Laboratory & the Universe
Dr Robert Flack
High Energy Particle Physics
UCL Department of Physics & Astronomy
6th December
Artificial Photosynthesis & its Applications
Dr Alison Parkin
Department of Chemistry, University of York
13th December
Snowball Earth & the Beginnings of Animal Evolution
Professor Graham Shields
UCL Department of Earth Sciences
Summer Term 2013
10th May
Exploring Mars: Water, Life & the Curiosity Rover Dr Peter Grindrod
UCL Department of Earth Sciences
17th May
DNA and other Components of Life
Professor Bonnie Wallace
Institute of Structural & Molecular Biology
Birkbeck College
University of London
24th May
Hybrid, Low Fuel Consumption & Hydrogen Powered Cars
Professor Richard Bucknall
UCL Department of Mechanical Engineering
31st May
No lecture (School half term)  
7th June
Scientific Discoveries of Classical Greece & its Influence on Modern Science
Dr Andrew Gregory
UCL Department of Science & Technology Studies
14th June
Dissecting the Light: Curiosity & Discovery in Observational Astrophysics
Dr Steve Fossey
University of London Observatory
UCL Department of Physics & Astronomy
21st June
The Flight of the Bumblebee & the Science of How Aeroplanes Fly
Dr Ken Zetie
St. Paul’s School, London
28th June
Light: Shining Fish and How to Make Lasers
Elinor Bailey
UCL Department of Physics & Astronomy
Spring Term 2013
18th January
Where's My Quantum Computer, and Why Do I Want One?
Dr John Morton
UCL Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering and London Centre for Nanotechnology
25th January
What Would Aliens Look Like? How Humans Might Evolve if They Colonise Space
Dr Lewis Dartnell
Birkbeck College & UCL Centre for Planetary Sciences
1st February
Right Hand, Left Hand: The Origins of Asymmetry in Brains, Bodies, Atoms & Cultures
Professor Chris McManus
UCL Faculty of Life & Medical Sciences
8th February
Chemistry through the Looking Glass: Mirror-Image Molecules & Application in Chemistry, Biology & Pharmacology - A Demonstration Lecture


Dr Mike Porter
UCL Department of Chemistry
15th February

The Science & Engineering of Invisibility: Can You Make Yourself Invisible?


Dr Akram Alomainy
School of Electronic Engineering & Computer Science, Queen Mary, University of London
22nd February
No lecture (School half term)  
1st March
Balancing Brooms, Strange Metals and Black Holes
Professor Andrew Green
UCL Department of Physics & Astronomy
London Centre for Nanotechnology, UCL & IC
8th March
Infrared Astronomy: Seeing the Invisible Universe
Dr Giorgio Savini
UCL Department of Physics & Astronomy
15th March
Water for a Thirsty World - Applying Geoscience to Evaluate Reliability & Risks of Groundwater Resources
Dr William Burgess
UCL Department of Earth Sciences
22nd March
Immunology, Ageing & Gender - Why is Life Deadlier for the Male?
Dr Jennifer Regan
UCL Institute of Healthy Ageing
Autumn Term 2012
5th October
Einstein's Theory of Relativity: Making Matter go Bang, E=mc2
Professor Basil Hiley
Theoretical Physics Research Group, Birkbeck College, University of London
12th October
Nanoparticles and their Applications to Medicine
Dr Josie Goodall
UCL Department of Chemistry
19th October
Geology of the Planets, the Search for Life and the Latest Data from NASA's Martian Rover
Dr Claire Cousins
Department of Earth & Planetary Science, Birkbeck College, University of London
26th October
No lecture (School half term)  
2nd November
No lecture (School half term)  
9th November
Artificial Intelligence and Robotics
Professor Peter McOwan
School of Electronic Engineering & Computer Science,
Queen Mary, University of London
16th November
Cosmic Rays, Neutrinos, Micro-Black Holes and Have We Discovered the Higgs Boson?
Dr Ryan Nichol
UCL Department of Physics & Astronomy
23rd November
Satellite Geodesy - Measuring from Space: Sea Level, Ice Cap Variations & Plate Tectonics
Professor Marek Ziebart
Space Geodesy & Navigation Laboratory,
UCL Department of Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering
30th November
The World of Rotations: Coriolis Forces, Angular Momentum & Gyroscopes - A Demonstration Lecture
Professor John Humberston
UCL Department of Physics & Astronomy
7th December
Biomedical Engineering: New Ways of Making Bubbles, Capsules, Particles, Fibres, Coatings & Scaffolds for Industry & Medicine
Professor Mohan Edirisinghe
UCL Department of Mechanical Engineering
14th December
Mitochondria: The Power Behind the Evolution of Complex Life
Dr Nick Lane
UCL Department of Genetics, Evolution & Environment
Summer Term 2012
18th May
From Euclid to Modern Geometry: Do the Angles of a Triangle really add up to 180 degrees?
Professor Mark Ronan
Department of Mathematics
UCL & University of Illinois
25th May
Biomimicry: Inventions by Scientists and Engineers by copying from Nature and the Search for the Origin of Life
Dr Josie Goodall
UCL Department of Chemistry
1st June
Mitochondria - at the Heart of Life and Death
Professor Michael Duchen
UCL Cell & Developmental Biology
8th June
No lecture (School half term)  
15th June
The Mysteries of our Galaxy and its Neighbours as uncovered by the Herschel Space Observatory
Dr Mikako Matsuura
UCL Department of Physics & Astronomy
22nd June
Engineering Structures: Design and Calculation
Dr John Eyre
UCL Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering
29th June
Properties, Hazards and Uses of Ionising Radiation and Radioactivity - a demonstration lecture
Dr John Makepeace
National Physics Laboratory
Spring Term 2012
27th January
DNA and Other Constituents of Life
Professor Bonnie Wallace
Institute of Structural and Molecular Biology
Birkbeck, University of London
3rd February
Unweaving Star Rainbows: Bridges to the Secrets of the Universe - a Spectroscopy demonstration lecture
Dr Francisco Diego
UCL Department of Physics & Astronomy
10th February
Artificial Intelligence and Robotics
Professor Peter McOwan
School of Electronic Engineering & Computer Science
Queen Mary, University of London
17th February
No lecture (School half term)
 
24th February
The Geological History and Exploration of the Moon and its Importance in Understanding the Origin and Evolution of Life on Earth
Dr Ian Crawford
Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences
Birkbeck, University of London
2nd March
The Global Rise and the Electronics of Digital Communications - a demonstration lecture
Dr John Mitchell
UCL Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering
9th March
How Alan Turing Discovered How Patterns Form in Chemical & Biological Systems - a demonstration lecture
Professor Andrew Sella
UCL Department of Chemistry
16th March
Imaging the Human Brain: Using Magnetoencephalography to Image in Real-Time the Activity within a Living Brain
Professor Stephen Swithenby
Faculty of Science, The Open University
23rd March
Fingerprints of the Early Universe: Is there Evidence for Multiverses?
Dr Hiranya Peiris
UCL Department of Physics & Astronomy
Autumn Term 2011

7th October

Antimatter, Quarks, Higgs Boson and the latest results from the Large Hadron Collider at CERN

Professor Jon Butterworth

UCL Department of Physics & Astronomy

14th October Why evolution is right and creationism is wrong

Professor Steve Jones

UCL Biological Sciences

21st October The formation and chemistry of the chemical elements since the Big Bang- a demonstration lecture

Dr Graeme Hoggarth

UCL Department of Chemistry

28th October No lecture (School half term)  
4th November Magnetism in the solar system, plate tectonics and journey into the centre of the Earth

Professor David Price

UCL Department of Earth Sciences

11th November Visualising the dynamics of living bacterial cell by microscopy and fluorescence spectroscopy

Professor Conrad Mullineaux

School of Biological and Chemical Sciences

Queen Mary, University of London

18th November Using quantum mechanics to discover new crystal structures of pharmaceuticals

Professor Sally Price

UCL Department of Chemistry

25th November Sources of renewable energy: harnessing off-shore wind, wave and tidal currents

Dr Kevin Drake

UCL Department of Mechanical Engineering

2nd December Cooling or warming? Climate prediction for Europe for the next 40 years and implications for Global Climate

Professor Alan Aylward

UCL Department of Physics & Astronomy

9th December Can you make yourself invisible?: The Science and Engineering of invisibility

Dr Ackram Alomainy

Department of Electronic Engineering

Queen Mary, University of London

16th December Einstein’s Theory of Relativity

Dr Christian Boehmer

UCL Department of Mathematics