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Explorathon 2016

Charlotte Desvages

On 30th September 2016 Researchers from across SUPA took part in Explorathon2016, Scotland’s contribution to European researcher’s night. A one night celebration of research, Explorathon was an extravaganza of discovery, debate and entertainment. Events were held in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and St Andrews. 

In St Andrews, Valerie Bentivegna (Dundee) presented her biophysics research as standup comedy in a Bright Club set. Helen Cammack, Jonathan Keeling, Brendon Lovett, Kyle Ballantine and Aidan Strathearn (St Andrews), presented “Quantum digits and dances” at the Byre theatre, explaining the mysteries of quantum mechanics. 

In Edinburgh Charlotte Desvages and Reggie Harrision from the acoustics group demonstrated the physics of musical instruments at the “Curiosity Forest”. 

In Glasgow, Aidan Robson from the University of Glasgow, spoke to school children about "The Matter of Matter: the Large Hadron Collider", explaining how we can 'see' the smallest scales using accelerators, and taking along some examples of the detectors. At the Glasgow Science Centre, Marco Piani from the University of Strathclyde ran “Ask a quantum mechanic” allowing members of the public to ask burning questions about the fundamentals of quantum mechanics. Researchers supported by the IoP, EPS and OSA also presented their work. Teams led by Dr Bos from Heriot-Watt University and Dr MacLaren from Glasgow University demonstrated how they are able to power the future by  generating electricity from waste heat. Their research into new thermoelectric materials that are able to convert waste heat into electricity promises to increase the efficiency of any heat generating process. 

The life of James Clerk Maxwell was celebrated in musical form By Prof Tom Stevenson with Andy and Flora Munro. Finally an IMAX screening of the Hidden Universe was held.