General interest seminar archive

Previous General interest Seminars are listed below. Past events of other types can be found via our Events archive page.

The special  R   label denotes that additional resources (e.g. slides) are available for this event.

Date Title Speaker(s)
28 Mar 2024 The state that has no right to exist
  • Ciprian Pruteanu
21 Mar 2024 20 Years of the Centre for Science at Extreme Conditions
  • John Loveday
14 Mar 2024 Physics with Purpose: Degrees Designed for Real-World Challenges
  • Mark Everitt (University of Loughborough)
07 Mar 2024 Is Fusion Power on the Horizon?
  • Stewart McWilliams
29 Feb 2024 Why the hell am I (a physics education researcher) in a physics department?
  • Drew Rosen
15 Feb 2024 Amorphous ice and liquid states of water
  • Katrin Amann-Winkel (Max-Planck Institute for Polymer research & Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany)
08 Feb 2024 A short history of scientific 'fraud', from skeletons to superconductors
  • Graeme Ackland
01 Feb 2024 Maskelyne, the man who used a Munro to weigh the Earth
  • Malcolm McMahon
25 Jan 2024 Thermodynamics of timekeeping: How much does a good clock cost?
  • Patrick Pietzonka
23 Nov 2023 Connecting Climate Change to the Physics of a Microbial Railway Network
  • Gavin Melaugh
09 Nov 2023 How to chose and apply for a PhD
02 Nov 2023 The Origin of the Chemical Elements
  • Marialuisa Aliotta
26 Oct 2023 Made in Edinburgh - the bijel story from soft-matter physics to energy-storage materials
  • Job Thijssen
19 Oct 2023 TBC
  • Emma McBride (Queen’s University Belfast)
12 Oct 2023 A Career in Suspension Formulation
  • Thomas Curwen (Mondelēz International)
05 Oct 2023 Precision Tests of Fundamental Interactions and their Symmetries Using Exotic Ions in Penning Traps
  • Klaus Blaum (Max Planck Institut fuer Kernphysik, Universitat Heidelberg)
21 Sep 2023 How to learn physics effectively: what we know from Physics Education Research
  • Ross Galloway
09 Mar 2023 Nuclear and atomic physics techniques in cultural heritage science
  • Michael Wiescher (University of Notre Dame)
23 Feb 2023 Binary neutron stars: Einstein's richest laboratory
  • Luciano Rezzolla (Goethe University Frankfurt)
02 Feb 2023 So you want to build a science megaproject?
  • John Womersley (The European Spallation Source and the Future Circular Collider)
19 Jan 2023 Atlas at 1000 Papers
  • Sinead Farrington
24 Nov 2022 Why you should do a PhD (or not)
  • Tyler Shendruk
  • Moritz Pascal Reiter
17 Nov 2022 Fluctuations Beyond Chemical Imagination in Liquid Water
  • Ali Hassanali (International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Trieste)
10 Nov 2022 ATLAS at 1000 papers
  • Sinead Farrington
03 Nov 2022 Is there any science in science-fiction films?
  • Douglas Scott (University of British Columbia)
27 Oct 2022 Hot & cool: tackling the Fusion grand challenge with AI and HPC
  • Lorenzo Zanisi (UK Atomic Energy Authority )
06 Oct 2022 The Physics of Bacteria
  • Aidan Brown
22 Sep 2022 How to learn physics effectively: what we know from Physics Education Research
  • Ross Galloway
21 Mar 2022 Is new physics lurking in the magnetic interaction of a muon?
  • Mark Lancaster (University of Manchester)
14 Mar 2022 The interplay of disorder and fluctuations in physical systems from atomic to planetary scale and the 2021 Nobel Prize in Physics
  • Richard Blythe
07 Mar 2022 Decolonising the physics curriculum: starting with thermodynamics. What, why, and how?
  • Wilson Poon
28 Feb 2022 Novel Energy Storage Technologies: a Roadmap for a Renewable Future
14 Feb 2022 Domain Wall Fermions / Summer Internships
  • Michael Marshall
07 Feb 2022 High-temperature Superconductivity in Hydrides at High Pressures
  • Sven Friedemann (University of Bristol)
31 Jan 2022 Observing Tidal Disruption Events with the Rubin Observatory LSST
  • Andreja Gomboc (University of Nova Gorica)
24 Jan 2022 Autonomously Moving Matter
29 Nov 2021 Thinking, reasoning and problem solving in physics
  • David Sands (University of Hull)
22 Nov 2021 Turning diamond into methane
  • Miriam Pena Alvarez
15 Nov 2021 Exploring Cosmic Dawn with the James Webb Space Telescope
  • James Dunlop
08 Nov 2021 Postgraduate research degrees
04 Nov 2021 Generating High-Intensity, Ultrashort Optical Pulses
  • Donna Strickland (University of Waterloo)
01 Nov 2021 PhD reflections
18 Oct 2021 Water water everywhere
  • John Loveday
11 Oct 2021 From Grassroots to National Policy Change: The LGBT+ Physicists
  • Ramón Barthelemy (University of Utah)
04 Oct 2021 Hyperloop: The 5th Mode of Transportation
27 Sep 2021 Epidemic modelling for physicists
20 Sep 2021 Searching for Simplicity
  • Neil Turok
15 Oct 2020 Rapid Assistance in Modelling the Pandemic. How can non-specialists help with 'the science'.
  • Graeme Ackland
01 Oct 2020 The Magicians: Great Minds and the Central Miracle of Science
  • Marcus Chown
13 Feb 2020 The Force Awakens
  • Ben Allanach (DAMTP, University of Cambridge)
06 Feb 2020 Trinity - The treachery and pursuit of the most dangerous spy in history: The Edinburgh Connection
  • Frank Close (University of Oxford)
04 Nov 2019 Dark Matter and Creativity
  • Fran Chadha-Day (University of Cambridge )
28 Mar 2019 Craigmillar Community Science Festival
20 Mar 2019 The law of the first significant digits and the half-lives of radioactive isotopes
  • György Gyürky (Institute for Nuclear Research (ATOMKI), Hungarian Academy of Sciences )
15 Mar 2019 Nano Heat Engines: Extracting Work from Bacteria
  • Ajay Sood (Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore)
13 Feb 2019 The waxing and waning of Alpine glaciers as sensitive proxies of natural and anthropogenic climate change
  • Walter Kutschera (University of Vienna)
30 Jan 2019 Why we need to keep talking about diversity in physics
  • Jess Wade (Imperial College London )
20 Sep 2018 Biological structures obtained by electron cryomicroscopy: Adventures of a physicist in biology.
  • Richard Henderson (Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge)
22 Mar 2018 The Biomechanics of Poo and Pee
  • David Hu (Georgia Institute of Technology)
15 Mar 2018 To the Centre of Titan and Beyond: 30 Years of Neutron Diffraction with the Paris-Edinburgh Pressure Cell
  • John Loveday
21 Feb 2018 Ailsa Sparkes Memorial Lecture: Gold
  • Jocelyn Bell-Burnell (University of Oxford)
05 Feb 2018 Enhancing Employability for Physics Graduates
  • Samantha Pugh (University of Leeds)
16 Nov 2017 New Science with X-ray Free Electron Lasers
  • Justin Wark (University of Oxford)
26 Oct 2017 Metallic Hydrogen Science Facts and Science Fictions R Additional Resources are available for this event
  • Graeme Ackland
02 Oct 2017 The Dark Side of the Universe R Additional Resources are available for this event
  • Catherine Heymans
21 Sep 2017 HYPED: The Edinburgh Hyperloop Project
23 Mar 2017 Where do elements come from? Studying stars in the lab
  • Marialuisa Aliotta
16 Mar 2017 Gas Hydrates - From a Laboratory Curiosity to Global Importance
  • Werner Kuhs (University of Göttingen)
02 Mar 2017 Gravitational waves - the new Astronomy? (2017 Ailsa Sparkes Memorial Seminar)
  • Sheila Rowan (University of Glasgow)
02 Feb 2017 Order without symmetry breaking
  • Christopher Stock
15 Nov 2016 Caramel, cement and corn flour: Adventures of a modern natural philosopher
  • Wilson Poon
12 Oct 2016 Electron-Ion Collider: A new scientific frontier
  • Rik Yoshida (Jefferson Lab, USA)
12 May 2016 Robust Emergence of Diverse Planetary Systems and the Prospects of Life around Other Stars
  • D Lin (University of California in Santa Cruz)
24 Mar 2016 The Cosmological Context of the Milky Way Galaxy
  • Rosemary Wyse (Johns Hopkins University)
22 Mar 2016 IPNP colloquium: the first detection of gravitational waves
  • Michele Maggiore (University of Geneva)
30 Nov 2015 Searching for Physics Beyond the Standard Model with the World’s Largest Penning Trap
  • B. Lee Roberts (Boston University)
29 Oct 2015 How do magmas behave at depth?
  • Chrystèle Sanloup (Institut des Sciences de la Terre de Paris)
22 Oct 2015 Is the speed of light in free space always c?
  • Miles Padgett (Kelvin Professor of Natural Philosophy, University of Glasgow)
15 Oct 2015 Phase-engineered Light Patterns for Ultracold Atom Experiments
  • Donatella Cassettari (University of St Andrews)
19 Mar 2015 Making atoms see the light (or not) - Electromagnetically-induced transparency for structured light
26 Feb 2015 Looking Outward, Inward, Homeward: a talk by Dr Ellen Stofan, NASA Chief Scientist
  • Ellen Stofan (Chief Scientist National Aeronautics and Space Administration)
19 Feb 2015 The Big ILW Physics Lecture
22 Jan 2015 At the Interface of Physics and Biology, and the Physics and Biology of Interfaces: Inaugural Lecture
  • Cait MacPhee
13 Nov 2014 Electron-phonon coupling, anharmonic phonons, and snowflakes
  • Richard Needs (University of Cambridge)
28 Oct 2014 Nuclear Astrophysics at the CIRCE Laboratory
24 Oct 2014 Repurposing the Large Hadron Collider
  • John Jowett (CERN)
21 Oct 2014 Physics of Life in Extreme Environments
  • Joe Zaccai (Institut Laue Langevin in Grenoble)
06 Mar 2014 Bionic hearing: the science and the experience R Additional Resources are available for this event
  • Ian Shipsey (University of Oxford)
28 Nov 2013 The Higgs boson and our life
  • Fabiola Gianotti (CERN)
10 Oct 2013 The Solution to a Fifty Year Old Mystery
  • Frank Close (University of Oxford)
11 Apr 2013 Scientific & Computational Advances in Fusion Energy Research
  • William Tang (Princeton University/Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory)
29 Nov 2012 As Weird as They Come: Elemental Metals at High Pressure
  • Ingo Loa
11 Oct 2012 The Infinity Puzzle: From QED to the Higgs Boson and beyond
  • Frank Close (University of Oxford)
20 Sep 2012 The Higgs boson reveals all! R Additional Resources are available for this event
  • Victoria Martin
10 May 2012 On the Shoulders of Eastern Giants: The Forgotten Legacy of Medieval Physicists R Additional Resources are available for this event
  • Jim Al-Khalili
26 Apr 2012 Neutrinos at the Terascale: a tale of 3.5 frontiers R Additional Resources are available for this event
  • Heinrich Paes (University of Dortmund)
05 Apr 2012 The Infinity Puzzle: from atoms to the LHC
  • Frank Close (University of Oxford)
29 Mar 2012 The hundred year hunt for the red sprite
  • Peter McLeish
23 Feb 2012 Seminar: The Dark Universe
  • Catherine Heymans
23 Feb 2012 Seminar: Life-plans, Research and Sidetracks
  • Athene Donald (University of Cambridge)
26 Jan 2012 Life in the Universe: Inaugural Lecture by Prof. Charles Cockell R Additional Resources are available for this event
  • Charles Cockell
17 Nov 2011 A random walk through the forest - or how we guess the strength of wood. In 3D! R Additional Resources are available for this event
  • Dan Ridley-Ellis (Napier University)
28 Oct 2011 A weighty problem: the hunt for the Higgs boson R Additional Resources are available for this event
  • William Murray (STFC, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory)
19 May 2011 Homi Bhabha Lecture - At the edge of glassiness: how simple can a complex system be? R Additional Resources are available for this event
01 Apr 2011 Confessions of a Converted Lecturer R Additional Resources are available for this event
  • Eric Mazur (Balkanski Professor of Physics and Applied Physics, Harvard University)
15 Apr 2010 Ultrahigh energy cosmic rays: experimental progress and the puzzles the data present
  • Glennys Farrar (New York University)
26 Nov 2009 Deep underground science at Boulby Mine: Dark matter and beyond
15 Oct 2009 Sex and Molecular Evolution
  • Brian Charlesworth (University of Edinburgh)
24 Sep 2009 STFC: Where did it all go wrong?
10 Jun 2009 The Hunt for the Higgs
  • Nigel Glover (Institute for Particle Physics Phenomenology, University of Durham)
28 Apr 2009 Naïve beliefs about physics and education
  • David Hestenes (Arizona State University)
26 Mar 2009 The search for the origin of mass
  • James Wells (CERN)
12 Mar 2009 The Lusi mud volcano
05 Mar 2009 From neutrino oscillations to curing cancer
  • Ken Peach (University of Oxford)
19 Feb 2009 The Monster at your Doorstep: Edinburgh University's HECToR Supercomputer
06 Nov 2008 Weightlessness—the best diet in the world? (or how (not) to build planets)
  • Helen Fraser (Strathclyde University)
30 Oct 2008 Life on Mars Time—an account of the Phoenix Mission
  • Tom Pike (Imperial College)
23 Oct 2008 Space as an Extreme Environment
16 Oct 2008 Gravitational waves searches - status and plans
10 Oct 2008 What do I know about Physics Education?
25 Sep 2008 Making Money by Cooling Crystals
  • Mike Glazer (Oxford University)
03 Apr 2008 Sustainable Energy
  • David J.C. MacKay (Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge)
20 Mar 2008 The Corkscrew in the Sky
13 Mar 2008 What lies beneath; and how the LHC could help us find out
06 Mar 2008 Smart insurance modelling - why is my team full of physics PhDs?
22 Nov 2007 The Science and Technology Facilities Council
15 Nov 2007 Invisible cloaks and the perfect lens
  • John Pendry (Imperial College, London)
01 Nov 2007 Biological Physics - Science or Gimmickry?
25 Oct 2007 Lord Crawford's Astronomy Library
  • Owen Gingerich (Harvard University)
27 Sep 2007 The Search for Origin of the Highest Energy Particles in Nature
04 Sep 2007 Students' Investigative Skills and the Physics Laboratory - research and good practice seen from 'Down Under'
  • David Mills (Monash University, Australia)
22 Mar 2007 Statistics, the Cosmic Microwave Background, and the Anthropic Principle
  • Andrew Jaffe (Imperial College London)
15 Mar 2007 Some advances in radiotherapy
08 Mar 2007 The Matter-Antimatter Asymmetry
  • Franz Muheim
01 Mar 2007 The Antikythera Mechanism Decoded
22 Feb 2007 Liquid Films, Bubbles and Drops ; A Demonstration Lecture
08 Feb 2007 The Use of Physics in Computer Games
01 Feb 2007 Nanotechnology: challenging chips and crime
  • Russell Cowburn (Imperial College London)
25 Jan 2007 Undergraduate laboratory physics – Has anything changed in 25 years?
07 Dec 2006 Harnessing plasma waves to accelerate particles and amplify light
23 Nov 2006 How Cold is Cold Fusion?
  • Janne Wallenius (Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Sweden)

About General interest seminars

Our General Interest Seminars are an opportunity for distinguished speakers to present new research in physics and related areas. The material presented is suitable for undergraduate level upwards and all members of the School are welcome to attend.

Find out more about General interest seminars.