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Talks and Public Seminars

Occasional talks and lectures for a more general audience are given by members of the School. Details of previous public talks and events are listed below.



Public Talks & Observatory Open Evening

Venue: Trevithick Building, Cardiff University, The Parade, Cardiff.
Date: Monday 12th March 2012
Time: From 6:30-8.30pm (arrival from 6.15pm)
Organiser: Dr Dan Read

The public talks will take place from 6.30pm-7.30pm in the Trevithick Faculty Lecture Theatre.

Dr Phil Buckle "Where's the Logic in the Future?"
Prof Peter Coles "How loud was the big bang?"
Dr Oliver Williams "Diamond: not all that glitters is gold"

Weather-permitting, the University Observatory will be open for tours and guided viewing sessions from 7.30pm to approximately 8.30pm.

Booking for this event has now closed.


Science Cafe - Diamond: not all that glitters is gold

Venue: Cafe Bar, The Gate Arts Centre, Keppoch Street, Roath
Date: Tuesday 6th March 2012
Time: 7:30 pm
Speaker: Dr Oliver Williams, Cardiff University
Open to all.

Diamond has inspired mankind for millennia. The fact that diamond is the hardest material known to man is common knowledge, but what isn't so well known is that diamond has many other extreme properties that make it a key industrial material. Scientists can make better diamonds than nature, by either imitating it or cheating it. We can make diamonds by compressing carbon at extreme temperatures and pressures, by heating gases to extreme temperatures with microwaves or by blowing things up. Man's diamonds of the future have applications as diverse as ultra-fast devices for computers and mobile phones to smart drug delivery.


2011

Amaldi 9 & NRDA 2011: Public Lectures

As part of the Amaldi 9 & NRDA 2011 Conferences, three public talks are being held at Cardiff University.

What does a sociologist see when he looks at science

Venue: Julian Hodge Lecture Theatre, Colum Drive
Date: Monday 11th July 2011
Time: 6:30 pm
Speaker: Professor Harry Collins, School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University
Open to all.

Professor Collins research interests are in the nature of scientific knowledge and knowledge in general; the public understanding of science; the nature of skill and expertise; artificial Intelligence and the relationship between humans and machines; medical knowledge and skills; science education. He is the author of numerous books on the sociology of science and the nature of knowledge, including co-author of the controversial The Golem: what you should know about science.

The Herschel and Planck missions: Exploring the History of the Universe

Venue: Julian Hodge Lecture Theatre, Colum Drive
Date: Tuesday 12th July 2011
Time: 6:30 pm
Speaker:Professor Matt Griffin, School of Physics and Astronomy, Cardiff University
Open to all.

Professor Griffin works on infrared and sub-millimetre astronomy and instrumentation, especially developing instruments for both ground-based and satellite-borne observatories. He is the Principal Investigator for the SPIRE instrument on the Hershel Space Observatory and a Co-Investigator in the Planck HFI instrument team. He also chairs the UK Herschel Outreach Group which organises a UK-wide programme of outreach activities associated with the Herschel mission.

Gravitational Waves: Listening to the True Music of the Spheres!

Venue: Julian Hodge Lecture Theatre, Colum Drive
Date: Wednesday 13th July 2011
Time: 6:30 pm
Speaker:Professor Bernard Schutz, Director, Max Planck Inst. for Grav. Phys. & Cardiff University
Open to all.

Professor Schutz's research is principally in the study of the physics and astrophysics of gravitational wave sources including black holes and neutron stars, and in methods of analyzing data from gravitational wave detectors to discover and study gravitational waves. He is the author of a number of textbooks and popular books in relativity and astrophysics.


I Can't Believe My Ears

Holographic image of vibrating guitar.

Venue: Trevithick Lecture Theatre, Trevithick Building, The Parade
Date: Monday 14th March 2011
Time: 6:30 pm
Speaker: Dr Bernard Richardson, Cardiff School of Physics and Astronomy
Open to all.

Our ears and eyes are primary senses which we use to perceive the world around us. But just as we can play tricks on our eyes with optical illusions, so too can we deceive our ears with aural illusions. This demonstration lecture examines the physical processes at work when we hear sounds and the links between the subjective and objective response of the ear and plays tricks with your senses to make you hear the unbelievable.

Telescope Open Evening

Venue: Trevithick Building, The Parade
Date: Monday 14th March 2011
Time: 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Open to all.

Weather-permitting*, the School of Physics and Astronomy's observatory will be open for guided viewing sessions, along with an exhibition of research taking place in the school. Come and observe the Moon with the school's telescope, and play with demonstrations of the groundbreaking physics and astronomy research taking place in Cardiff. Light refreshments will be provided. Booking is essential for this event (booking now closed).

* Please note that due to its nature this event may be canceled at short notice. We will try to give at least two hours notice of cancellation by posting to this website.


2010

The Cosmic Web: public talk and exhibition

The Cosmic Web

Venue: Prince Phillip Lecture Theatre, School of Physics and Astronomy
Date: Tuesday 16th March 2010
Time: 7pm
Speaker:Professor Peter Coles, Cardiff University
Open to all.

"Over the last few decades astronomers have revealed that our cosmos is not only vast in scale - at least 14 billion light years in radius - but also exceedingly complex, with galaxies and clusters of galaxies linked together in immense chains and sheets, surrounding giant voids of empty space.

Cosmologists have developed theoretical explanations for its origin that involve such exotic concepts as 'dark matter' and 'cosmic inflation', producing a cosmic web of ideas that is in some ways as rich and fascinating as the Universe itself."

After Professor Coles' talk, there will be a public exhibition of some of the work done in the School of Physics and Astronomy.


Earth to Earth, Ashes to Ashes: The origin of the chemical elements

Mike Edmunds

Venue: Prince Phillip Lecture Theatre, School of Physics and Astronomy
Date: Tuesday 9th March 2010
Time: 7pm
Speaker:Professor Mike Edmunds, Cardiff University
Open to all.

The School of Physics and Astronomy will be hosting a workshop and public lecture to celebrate and highlight the wide range of research and education activities of Professor Mike Edmunds during his long career at Cardiff. As part of the workshop and for National Science and Engineering Week, Mike will be giving a public lecture entitled "Earth to Earth, Ashes to Ashes: The origin of the chemical elements".

"... as well as being a distinguished researcher in astronomy (Mike was invited to give the George Darwin Lecture "The Elementary Universe" to the Royal Astronomical Society), he is also well known for his interest in archeological astronomy. In recent years, Mike was academic lead in the team which analysed the astonishing Antikythera Mechanism. This led to a number of press releases and phenomenal media interest ..." More ...