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London Group Spring Lectures End with a Bang!

Cyril Isenberg and bubbles

14 May 2014

The London Group concluded its spring term of lectures, in partnership with UCL's Chemical Physical Society, in April with Fizz Pop Whizz Bang! Caroline Knapp, Vice President of the Chemical Physical Society, provided a tour through the internet looking at some of the unusual methods behind special effects in the movies and how chemistry was involved in them.

Michael Maunder kicked off the 2014 spring term with his talk on the challenges of new photographic chemistry, introducing us to his latest ventures in safe developers and a new novel photographic process that's a lot faster than the traditional AG+ system. He was followed by Michael Berry's talk which explored the connections between physics and technological invention and aspects of human culture.

Other talks ranged from topics on computer science and chemical pressure to sugar technologies and food fraud (in the wake of the horsemeat scandal). We also found out about how different strains of cannabis produce different psychological effects and about solid state synthesis.

World War I re-enactor James Gage took us back 100 years in history as he explored what it was like to be a British soldier in the Great War - from his uniform and equipment, weapons (the rifle, bayonet, grenades and gas) to life in the trenches and Britain's involvement in the war.

Dr Cyril Isenberg, pictured, introduced us to the magic of bubbles with a presentation highlighting some of the spectacular visual properties of soap films and bubbles that have remained largely unknown. Giant films and bubbles that are not spherical were demonstrated and their colours, vibrational behaviour and minimisation properties were investigated.

The London Group sponsors the UCL Chemical Physical Society's lecture programme and both committees collaborate on ideas for speakers and topics. The lectures take place every Tuesday evening in the spring and autumn terms at the UCL Chemistry Department. They are free to attend, no booking is required and your attendance will be rewarded with refreshments both before and after the lectures.

The London Group lecture programme returns in the autumn, and we look forward to seeing what it will bring!

Until then, we hope to see many of you at the London Group's social event, the Canal Boat Museum Visit and lunch in June.

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