LCN presents its research in 6 minutes and 40 seconds…

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This month, the LCN, in conjunction with the Association of British Science Writers (ABSW), ran its first ever "pecha kucha" event.  

A "pecha kucha" is an informal and entertaining event where speakers have 20 slides, each lasting for exactly 20 seconds, to present their topic.  So 6 minutes, 40 seconds (not a second more) for six LCN researchers to give a brief introduction to their research in an accessible and entertaining way.

The LCN researchers did a fantastic job and presentations ranged from real-time drug monitoring and labs on chips, to nanorobots, black holes and how simulations can help us do the experiments that would take far too long in real life. 

Talks included:

Natascha Kappeler – Natascha’s presentation was on the urgent needs of therapeutic drug monitoring in real-time at the point-of-care to optimise and manage the drug dosage to every individual patient; and how this can be achieved with this novel generation of sensors.

Dr Andrew Morris - Solving the Crystal Maze
Can't wait a 1000 years for the experiment to finish? When is H2O not water? When are more defects in a material better? From the insides of planets to the insides of mobile phones, Andrew showed how computers are speeding up the search for new materials.

Chris Kirkham - Theoretical modelling is an important part of modern physics, either being used to guide new experiments, or explain experimental results. Chris focused on materials modelling where we build up structures out of individual atoms to simulate their properties. He looked at some of the practical considerations that go into making these models such as how to model a surface, and how large to make the model.

Angie Ma -Shrinking down electronic components onto small chips has brought about the age of computing. What if we can do the same but with optical, fluidic and mechanical components. Lab on a chip is the technological concept of performing laboratory operations on a very small scale using miniaturised devices.

Professor Andrew Green - Balancing Brooms, Strange Crystals and Unstable Black Holes
One of the most provocative ideas of recent years has been a proposed mathematical mapping between the description of electrons in strange crystals and that of black holes. Professor Green sketched out this idea and showed how stability out of noise arising in the magnetic crystal suggests new stable states of the black hole.

Dr Bart Hoogenboom - Observing nano-robots at work.
A scarily interesting aspect of nanotechnology is our ability to study and manipulate nano-scale robots and machines. Nature is full of nano-robots and we would not exist without their hard work. Should that scare us? To answer that question (and many others), it would be useful to see nano-robots while they are at work - let that now be one of the nice things that nanotechnology has achieved.

The event was attended by both LCN and ABSW members and was a great opportunity for everyone to learn more about the work of the LCN and to help raise our profile amongst a wide community of science writers.