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In the second chapter of our journey from atoms to galaxies, we enter the World of Materials. We'll explore the materials that will shape the future of our society, and how to use them to create advanced displays and devices for our information-obsessed selves. And importantly, we'll discover how to create them and how they work, when we can't even see their building blocks. Sorry concrete, you're being replaced!
Chaos from Order: Topology in Liquid Crystals
Professor Cliff Jones (Professor, Soft Matter Physics group, University of Leeds)
LCD TVs changed the world, enabling hang-on-the-wall TVs and tablet computers. Did you know they are filled with materials that are both liquid and crystal? What happens when a disordered liquid cools into an ordered liquid crystal phase? Why is this relevant to the first few moments of the Universe or the latest in Liquid Crystal Displays (LCDs)? The answers lie in topology and the formation of defects. Join me as I describe some of this defective science and let's explore what other exciting technologies liquid crystals may enable.
Picturing the Invisible: A journey from atoms and nanoparticles to the foam on your beer
Dr Nicole Hondow (University Academic Fellow, Materials Characterisation group, University of Leeds)
Growing up in the hottest and sunniest part of Australia, I never would have believed my ideal job would be based in dark basement rooms in Yorkshire. But exciting things are hidden in the basement labs of the University of Leeds and I will talk about the adventures that are possible with electron microscopy – from identifying atoms in nanoparticles, tracking these nanoparticles inside human cells, to studying the foam on your beer and more…