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Together we will discover the science behind particles invisible to the naked eye. We will start by exploring particle acceleration and continue our journey with a literal look at quantum electrons. For our last talk, we will zoom out of the subatomic and uncover ways to store data using molecules.
John Cooper (Comedian and illustrator)
Returning for comparing duties is John Cooper. John is a stand up comedian and illustrator, with a fascination for communication. He's performed at over one hundred theatres around the UK, delivered workshops on how to build confidence through comedy and appropriate use of humour at work. He's not a scientist, but his natural curiosity for the interesting and unusual led him to getting involved with the Pint of Science festival in 2018.
Sending electrons round the bend: Particle accelerators but not as you know them!
Dr Karen Syres (Lecturer in Physics)
When you think of particle accelerators you probably imagine scientists smashing particles together with the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. However, there is a less well known but widely used type of accelerator called a synchrotron. Here we send electrons round a ring at close to the speed of light and use the intense radiation emitted by the electrons for studying materials. The world’s first dedicated synchrotron radiation facility was actually built locally in Warrington! I’ll take you through a brief history of synchrotrons and explain some of the amazing science that goes on there.
Quantum electrons to the naked eye
Julien Barrier (PhD Student in Condensed Matter Physics)
Quantum physics is often outside of our thoughts and intuitions. It is, by definition invisible, abstract and mathematical: intimidating! However, quantum physics is accountable of viewable and tangible phenomena! This talk will explain how basic quantum behaviour can be seen and leads to modern technology. Julien Barrier is a PhD student in the condensed matter physics laboratory at the University of Manchester. His research addresses the electronic properties of atomically thin materials.
Storing data with molecules
Dr Nicholas Chilton (Presidential Research Fellow)
Cheaper, faster computers have driven rapid technology growth, but development cannot continue with current technologies. The limit would be devices made of single molecules, 100,000 times thinner than hair. Single-molecule magnets could replace traditional magnets in hard drives, potentially increasing data densities over 100 times. This would result in smaller, cheaper hard drives, yielding huge reductions in size and power use of data centres, plus smaller and lighter gadgets. In this talk we’ll explore how molecules can be designed to store data and why we don’t yet have molecular phones.