Please note that there is no registration for these online events. You can join each session using the links below.
Tuesday 17 November – 18.15 GMT
Title: Hunting ultra-high energy neutrons in Antarctica
Speaker: Dr Linda Cremonesi
Synopsis: In this talk, Dr. Linda Cremonesi will introduce neutrino astronomy, the art of using neutrinos to study the most remote corners of the universe. In particular, she will be talking about the ANITA experiment. ANITA is a radio detector attached to a giant helium balloon that periodically flies above Antarctica looking for signatures of particles coming from outside our galaxy. She will present the challenges of putting together a particle physics experiment in one of the most inhospitable places on Earth, and will present results from the latest flights and finally talk about the quirks of life on the driest coldest continent on Earth.
Tuesday 24 November - 18.15 GMT
Title: Artificial intelligence in video games: past, present and future
Speaker: Dr Tommy Thompson
Synopsis: The term "Artificial intelligence" has become increasingly ubiquitous with gains and changes in technology, although it's rare we know how that actually works. One of the most prominent areas that AI is applied but is often misunderstood is video games. In fact, the video games industry has a variety of bespoke AI tools and methodologies designed to support the unique challenges faced in creating vast game worlds and interesting non-player characters. But in more recent years innovations in deep learning and machine are having a significant impact on numerous industries. But how can it prove useful for games? In this talk we're going to look at how AI has traditionally been operated within video games, how machine learning has previously struggled to make gains in the games industry and the new risks and opportunities for AI that are emerging as games are made and played all over the world.
Tuesday 1 December - 18.15 GMT
Title: Lapis lazuli: Medieval materials processing
Speaker: Dr Spike Bucklow
Synopses: The talk will consider a process of mineral separation that was documented across Europe for over 1,000 years that reliably created a blue colour for artists and a widely used drug. It will post-rationalize the identity of recipe ingredients and procedural details in terms of the available – mainly Aristotelian – theories about the physical world. It will briefly consider the material’s importance to industrial chemistry in the nineteenth century and the recipe’s afterlife in modern chemical engineering. It will be offered as a case study that questions relationships between theories and practices and between C.P. Snow’s ‘two cultures.
Tuesday 8 December - 18.15 GMT
Title: Illuminating materials: the materials science of light emitting diodes
Speaker: Prof Rachel Oliver
Synopses: About a quarter of the electricity generated worldwide is used for lighting. Energy efficient light bulbs based on light emitting diodes (LEDs) are about five times more efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs, and hence have the potential to allow enormous energy savings. The key material used in LEDs which emit white light is gallium nitride, a human-made compound, which has never been observed to occur in nature. Optimizing this new material to make LEDs which are efficient, long-lived and reasonably affordable has been a huge challenge, and despite the undoubted commercial success of these devices many aspects of their operation remain mysterious. This lecture will explain how we can take LEDs apart, literally atom by atom, to understand their structure and how this controls their properties. The relevant techniques emerged from traditional metallurgy but are now being used to understand materials for cutting edge optoelectronic devices, illustrating how the basic principles of materials science are vital to the development of the technologies of tomorrow.