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Physics of the Everyday

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Mary Fortune.

People associate physics either with the ultrasmall, sub-atomic particles so much in the news, or with the wonders of outer space and its huge distances. I prefer to work with the human-sized world and study the sorts of things that are very familiar to you: things that you eat, wear, utilise or that make up your own bodies and the organisms around us. This encompasses my field of soft matter physics and it mainly deals with aggregates of molecules in one way or another.

I will consider how this sort of matter can be observed in detail and what it is that makes it special, looking at examples from plants to paint. I will also consider what studying some food may tell us about brain disease, by looking at generalities of the way long molecules behave when they interact. Finally I will try to describe why I think science is such a creative discipline and why research is so exciting.

This talk is part of the Trinity College Science Society (TCSS) series.

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