I had a strange but lovely aspect to my childhood; I grew up on the campus at the University of Kent, where my father worked in the Chemistry labs. My friends and I - all offspring of university connected peolpe - used to have the run of the campus, and whilst most kids were doing kid stuff like hanging out down the rec, we'd be hanging out next to the Foulcault's pendulum in the physics building. Explains a lot, really.
Anyway - ages ago I was talking to someone about Cyril Isenberg, (Eisenberg?) an academic who has the singular talent of being able to deliver a captivating lecture to an audience of children. He specialised in fluid dynamics, I think; as a kid this translates into bubbles and smoke rings, two things he demonstrated with great enthusiasm.
I want to say that he must be getting on in years now; he seemed old to ten-year-old me. Maybe he was only in his thirties, and hence I'm maligning him. But, it turns out he's written a book, and furthermore is STILL GIVING HIS LECTURES.
If you're in the Oxford area, I thoroughly reccomend you go and see this. He's ace.
Oxford University Scientific Society presents:
The Magic of Soap Bubbles
Dr Cyril Isenberg
Department of Physics, University of Kent at Canterbury
6th Week, Wednesday 16th November
Young people are always fascinated by the perfect spheres produced every
time a bubble is blown. These bubbles are surprisingly stable which has led
scientists to study their properties closely.
In this demonstration lecture, Dr Isenberg will illustrate some of the
properties on a grand scale, forming bubbles with spectacular shapes and
colours. Principles such as thermodynamics mean that the bubbles created
must obey certain geometric constraints, and so can be studied and applied to
solve mathematical problems, such as the construction of networks of roads,
pipelines and cables, and so on.
The bubbles also have a molecular structure similar to cell membranes, so
detailed studies of soap films can give an insight into more complex
Date: Wednesday 16th November (6th week)
Time: 8.15 pm
Location: Inorganic Chemistry Lecture Theatre, South Parks Road
£2 for non-members. Light refreshment will be served.
**The Oxford University Scientific Society, founded in 1882, holds weekly
lectures by prominent speakers in all fields of science. For our current
termcard, check out: