Future Talks

All talks at Winchester Discovery Centre, Jewry Street 7.15 for 7.45 unless otherwise advertised.

Licensed bar serving hot drinks, cakes and snacks. No charge to attend. Contributions welcome.

4th November 2019 “Black holes as bubbles of fluids” – Dr Oscar Campos-Dias – STAG 

Stephen Hawking told us that black holes are not after all that dark since they can emit quantum thermal radiation. It follows that to fully understand black holes we will ultimately have to have a theory of quantum gravity. While searching for this theory, in recent years it was found that gravity and certain quantum theories can be mapped to each other via a one-to-one correspondence that we call a holographic duality. And, remarkably, in certain regimes this holographic duality is such that black holes can be described by hydrodynamics or fluid physics. That is to say, in certain conditions black holes behave very much like fluids and soap bubbles. And phenomena like turbulence and vortices (so familiar to us in hurricanes) can be found also in the study of black holes. I will discuss how some of these ideas emerged.

Oscar Dias is a member of the String Theory and Gravity Group in the Department of Mathematical Sciences and STAG, University of Southampton. Before arriving in Southampton, initially as an STFC Ernest Rutherford Fellow, Oscar Dias was a researcher at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics (Canada), at the Kavli Institute (California), at the University of Barcelona, at DAMTP (Cambridge) and at the Commissariat for Atomic Energy (France). He does research on black holes and holographic dualities.

2nd December 2019 – “Gravitational wave astronomy” Prof Ian Jones – STAG

On February 11th 2016, something truly remarkable was announced to the world – the detection of gravitational waves from two colliding back holes.  Described as one of the greatest discoveries of the century, it confirmed a prediction made by Albert Einstein himself, exactly one hundred years earlier.  In this talk, I will describe why this really is a big deal, what is means for physics and astronomy, what else we have detected since, and what we might have to look forward to in the future.  The story will take us to some interesting places, involving lasers, super-precise experiments, and, of course, the black holes themselves.

Prof Ian Jones is an expert on astrophysical sources of gravitational waves.  He is a member of the Gravity Group in the department of Mathematical Sciences, University of Southampton.  He is also a member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, the group that in February 2016 announced the first ever detection of gravitational waves, confirming an outstanding prediction of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, and giving us the most direct view yet of those most mysterious objects – black holes.

6th January 2020 “Driving-us-closer-to-greener-transport: sustainable lightweight composites” Professor Hom Nath Dhakal

The principle of Hom’s research is combining organic materials with plastics to create composite laminates.

The goal is to see these being used for products such as car bumpers and door linings. If you’re picturing a car partly made of plant fibres and imagining it would break if you blew on it, think again. Part of Hom’s research is about proving they have the necessary strength.

He and his team conducted several experiments to find out what happens to their materials when loads are applied. There are different mechanical properties to consider – from impact strength, to flexural strength, to fatigue – depending on what a biocomposite might be used for.

Professor Hom Nath Dhakal is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the School of Mechanical and Design Engineering, University of Portsmouth, U.K. In addition, he is also a docent professor of bio-based materials at the faculty of textiles engineering and business, University of Borås, Sweden.
He leads the Advanced Materials and Manufacturing (AMM) Research Group within the School of Mechanical and Design Engineering. His principal research interest lies in the design, development, testing and characterisation of sustainable lightweight composites, nanocomposites, natural fibre composites and biocomposites including their mechanical (tensile, flexural, low-velocity impact and fracture toughness), thermal and environmental properties (dimensional stability under harsh environments).
He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA), Chartered Engineer (CEng), a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (FIET), Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) (FIMMM) and a member of the American Society for Composites (ASC).
Professor Dhakal is the author/co-author of over 100 publications in the area of light weight sustainable composite and biocomposites which has attracted well over 2400 citations with an h-index of 22; i10-index of 41 (Google Scholar as of 24/05/2019); ResearchGate score of 32.66, and higher than 90% of ResearchGate members. He has successfully supervised many PhDs as a Director of Studies; and been an external examiner for many PhDs nationally and internationally. He is a member of international scientific research committees; established national and international industrial, professional and academic networks.