As a part of British Science Week 2021, the School of Mathematics and Physics at the University of Lincoln is celebrating all things maths and physics with a series of 12 lectures (6 in Maths and 6 in Physics) from our experts. You will find out what exciting science we do in Lincoln from pure to applied maths, from experimental to theoretical and computational physics and astrophysics. You will have a glimpse to some of our recent discoveries and will be able to ask questions as well. The lectures are especially prepared for A-level students but are accessible for everyone interested in maths or physics. You can attend as many lectures as you want – all, some or just one – please book your place to receive a link to watch them live and to post your questions. Each lecture will consist of about 30 min talk followed by 25 min live Q&A session.
Friday, 5 March 2021 – Special opening night
16:00-17:00: Dr. Helen Christodoulidi, Predator-prey mathematical models and their applications in real world problems
We use science to decode patterns, structures and laws that appear in nature. Mathematical modelling real-world problems is a part of applied mathematics that aims to describe in the most efficient way systems, usually evolving in time, using the least possible complexity. We will try to model a simple predator-prey system to understand and predict how the population changes between two interacting species: the predator (foxes) and its prey (rabbits). Such models find applications from ecology to epidemics.
17:00-18:00: David Wilkinson (UK Institute of Physics & Univ. of Lincoln), A Half-life in Physics
A physics degree is a passport to all kinds of interesting careers. So many, that David hasn’t just stuck to one. Having decided to leave medical school, he switched to a degree in medical physics. From that moment on, things got interesting. From handling highly radio-active beads, to handling explosives. From being in a police chase to attending conferences in Las Vegas. From buying illegal drugs to writing and guesting on radio shows. After 23 years in the business, he’s only half way. A career in physics is far from dull.
Monday, 8 March 2021 – International Women’s Day – celebrating contribution of women to Physics and Maths
16:00-17:00: Dr. Manuela Mura, Nano-Physics for Nano-Medicine
As the effectiveness of antibiotics is decreasing, new drugs need to be introduced, such as antimicrobial peptides or antimicrobial agents. This antimicrobial agents are inspired by the nature as animals and plants have an innate antimicrobial resistance to microorganism producing large number of peptides and proteins to protect themselves from microbial infection and other threats. This talk provides and overview of the physics of biological systems and different mechanisms of interaction of complex anti-microbial agents with membrane proteins.
17:00-18:00: Dr. Claire McIlroy, 3D Printing Under the Microscope
Can 3D printing revolutionize plastic manufacturing as we know it? There is huge potential to mass customize and reduce waste – if only we could print faster and more accurately … However, the plastics used for printing are complicated; to advance 3D printing we need to understand how these materials behave – down to the scale of a single molecule. Since it is not easy to combine microscopes and 3D printers, I will show you how we can gain insight using some maths!
Tuesday, 9 March 2021
16:00-17:00: Dr. Martin Greenall, Maximisation and minimisation problems and their applications in science and industry
Optimisation is finding the best solution to a problem from all available solutions. Mathematically, this often means finding the maximum or minimum value of a function. Starting from functions of one variable, I will introduce some of the techniques used in optimisation and outline how these were used in Lincoln in a final-year student project on designing a device to guide electromagnetic waves.
17:00-18:00: Dr. Phil Sutton, Fantastic Worlds and Where to Find Them
The last decade has seen an explosion in the number of planets discovered orbiting stars other than our sun, known as exoplanets. In this talk we briefly look at how these have been discovered along with some of the more unusual planets found to date.
Wednesday, 10 March 2021
16:00-17:00: Prof. Evgeny Khukhro, Group Theory: algebra of transformations
Every part of mathematics has its own transformations. These `generalized symmetries’ form groups of transformations, with product operation given by compositions. Abstract group theory studies groups in their own right; it is a rich, diverse and dynamically developing branch of algebra.
17:00-18:00: Prof. Andrei Zvelindovsky, Simple maths of complex birds flocking
Thursday, 11 March 2021
16:00-17:00: Dr. Matthew Booth, Quantum Dots: what, why and how?
You might have heard of Quantum dots in the past few years; decades after they were first hypothesised, they are now starting to find many applications, ranging from the latest screen technology to medical ‘tattoos’. But what are they exactly? In this talk we will discover from a Physics perspective what these materials are, what properties they have, and why they have such a cool name. We will also discuss a little about how easy it is to make them and look more closely at some of the technologies they facilitate.
17:00-18:00: Dr. Simon Smith, Infinity
Infinity is often seen as a vague, mystical concept. In this talk I will show how we can use the power of mathematical thinking – and nothing more than our own minds – to analyse infinity and reach some surprising conclusions.
Friday, 12 March 2021
16:00-17:00: Dr. Anitha Thillaisundaram, Fractals, Hausdorff dimension and the coastline paradox
Hausdorff dimension was developed in the 1930s by Felix Hausdorff as a generalisation of our usual concept of integer dimension (e.g. a line has dimension one, a square has dimension 2, etc). Hausdorff dimension has been applied to fractals, which are irregular shapes that retain their irregularity no matter how much you magnify them. Examples of fractals include snowflakes, broccoli, and coastlines. In this talk, we will also see how Hausdorff dimension was used to solve the coastline paradox.
17:00-18:10: Dr. Fabien Paillusson, Is the vacuum empty? Plus the Lincoln Physics Challenge Awards Ceremony