9 June 2014

Materials Live! at the Cheltenham Science Festival

Experiments at the Cheltenhan Science Festival: Crushing frozen lego and magnetic levitation!

In June, the Materials Live! team showcased some weird and wonderful experiments at the Cheltenham Science Festival. Dr Ian Mabbett from SPECIFIC and Dr Richard Johnston of Swansea University’s Materials Research Centre exhibited in the Festival’s Explore Zone, in association with the Engineering and Physical Research Council (EPSRC), which this year had a focus on ‘Materials, technology and cutting-edge research’.

The experiments the team carried out were all designed to show the wonders of materials in some very novel ways. Brittle to ductile transition was demonstrated by crushing blocks of lego before and after being frozen to -196 ?C. The splatter guard did a good job stopping everyone being covered in exploded lego fragments! They also demonstrated magnetic levitation which fascinated the visitors at the event.

Materials Live! develops materials demonstrations, free touring lecture shows, hands on workshops at science festivals, while also facilitating visits to the Materials Research Centre at the University’s Singleton Park campus, and the laboratories and pilot line of the SPECIFIC project at the Baglan Bay Innovation and Knowledge Centre.

If you would like to find out more or would like Materials Live! to conduct experiments at your school, please contact Bruce Rogers.

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Content available in Welsh on request by emailing info-specific@swansea.ac.uk