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Tonight you won't believe your ears. Our speakers will take you on two fantastic journeys through the physics of the future.The quest to build a power source that could one day replace fossil fuels entirely, offering limitless and clean energy & how physicists are using ultra-power lasers to rip through vacuum, once thought as nothingness but not anymore!
The fusion power quest
Dr Eldad Avital (Reader in Computational Fluids and Acoustics, Queen Mary University of London)
As human population increases the demand for safe and CO2-free energy increases. One such possible energy source is fusion power that has much less radioactive waste than the current commercial fission process while having higher energy density and abundant fuel supply. However, harnessing fusion power for electricity production has proven to be a truly difficult case and we still do not have a viable commercial reactor. This has led to emergence of private initiatives seeking the fusion future.We will look at the principles of fusion power, governmental initiatives and alternative approaches.
The physics of nothing: can we rip through vacuum?
Dr. Gianluca Sarri (Lecturer at the School of Mathematics and Physics, Queen's University Belfast)
Vacuum is just an absolute nothingness, a fixed and immaculate frame of empty space where time holds its breath and stillness dominates, right? Well, you might want to think again, it is quite the contrary! Modern physics predicts that vacuum is a fervent and bubbling region of space, a material in every sense of the word. As any other material, it can be stretched, deformed, and even ripped. In my talk, I will present some of these fascinating predictions and show how state-of-the-art ultra-powerful lasers will help us ripping through vacuum, opening up a new and unexplored realm of physics.