*Science Alive, Friday 17th - Saturday 18th March 2006

Science Alive 06Held in Broadmead Galleries shopping centre. This is the University's contribution to National Science Week - an annual event arranged by the British Association for the Advancement of Science to increase PUBLIC engagement with the subject.

Starting from almost first principles, we discussed some of the chemical physics work we do here at the School of Chemistry. Beginning with atoms and molecules in a balloon, we discussed squashing atoms closer together by cooling. This was followed up by making blue-tac nails. This led to ‘how you can squash something soft to make it hard?’ with particular reference for making metastable diamond from graphite. The CVD part of diamond making was a bit of a leap of faith, but fortunately gas hobs, energy saving and filament light bulbs are popular! We then made some slime by adding a small amount of borax solution to a much larger volume of PVA solution. Thus, introducing a dopant to a host lattice can redefine the physical properties of that material, ie. Semi-conducting boron-doped diamond.

Postgraduate chemists involved:
Dane Comerford, Becky Sage, Claire Galvani, Dem Jardel, Julie Pearce, Nicky Elliott, Nick Walker, Phyllis Fiadzomor

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