Experimenting with Extreme Cold

Dr Rich Haley, Department of Physics, Lancaster University

Tuesday 06 November 2012, 1900-2000
The Storey Institute, Lancaster

The pursuit of extreme cold is a never-ending quest towards the absolute zero of -273.15 degrees Celsius. Helium, first discovered as a mysterious spectral line in sunlight and then isolated on Earth as a rare gas, plays a crucial role in the effort to reach this very chilly objective. Although it liquifies at 4 degrees above absolute zero, further cooling does not cause helium to freeze. Instead, a completely new state of matter appears - a "superfluid" that flows without any friction. Dr Rich Haley will guide you through the exotic world of superfluid helium, where fluids flow uphill and low temperature research offers insights into the physics of turbulent flows and cosmological processes thought to have taken places shortly after the Big Bang.

Making Waves - Physics for All

This autumn, the University's Department of Physics will host it's inaugural programme of public lectures in Lancaster City Centre. Entitled "Making Waves", the series of six lectures will showcase the cutting edge research that takes place in the UK's top-rated physics department. From the smallest subatomic particles, to the daunting scale of the cosmos, from the lowest temperatures possible to the super-heated atmosphere of the Sun, Lancaster physicists will take you on a journey through our understanding of the Universe.

Tickets are free and available online.