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Beautiful Experiments in Chemistry

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact John O'Toole.

Scientists frequently talk about ‘beauty’ in their work, but rarely stop to think quite what they mean by it. What makes an experiment beautiful? Is it the clarity of the design? The elegance of the apparatus? The nature of the knowledge gained? There have been several recent attempts to identify ‘beautiful’ experiments in science, especially in physics. But Philip Ball argues that, not only is chemistry often neglected in these surveys, but it has its own special kinds of beauty, linked to the fact that it is a branch of science strongly tied to the art of making things: new molecules and materials, new smells and colours. He offers suggestions for ten particularly beautiful experiments in chemistry, taken from his recent book Elegant Solutions: Ten Beautiful Experiments in Chemistry. (There will be an opportunity to purchase signed copies after the event.)

Philip Ball is a prizewinning science writer. He was an editor for Nature for over 10 years and now contributes a regular column in the RSC ’s Chemistry World. His book Critical Mass: How One Things Leads to Another won the 2005 Aventis Prize. Other works include Bright Earth: The Invention of Colour and most recently The Music Instinct.

Suitable for families and science students. This event is free and open to all. No tickets, so arrive early to get a good seat.

This event will be preceded at 18:30 by the SCI Cambridge & Great Eastern Region AGM .

Event organised by SCI and RSC .

Contact: JohnO’Toole

This talk is part of the SCI Cambridge Science Talks series.

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