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Michael Faraday
Michael Faraday

Press Release - 25 October 2006

Free lecture makes science accessible

Batteries, bells and frozen bananas will all be part of a talk on the life and science of Michael Faraday, the famous nineteenth century physicist and chemist, in a free public lecture at the University of Bath in Swindon on Wednesday 1 November.

Dr Peter Ford, from the University of Bath’s Department of Physics, will immerse everyday objects in liquid nitrogen to demonstrate, in a simple and lively way, experiments in low temperature physics.

Michael Faraday began this branch of science, paving the way for the production of liquid nitrogen which is now used widely in science, including cryogenic preservation and the food industry.

He is best known for his work on the relationship between electricity and magnetism, which led to the use of electricity in technology and in the home. Some experts describe him as the best experimentalist in the history of science.

Dr Ford said: “It’s amazing how much science you can teach with very simple apparatus and how much fun you can have. The talk is suitable for adults through to sixth form and GCSE students, as I’m very interested in promoting physics to young people and showing them that it’s an interesting and exciting subject.“

Dr Ford has spent many years carrying out research into the behaviour of metals and alloys at very low temperatures. He is also committed to raising public understanding of science and in 2002 he and two colleagues from the University were presented with a Public Awareness of Physics Award from the Institute of Physics.

Admission and parking for the lecture is free and people can just turn up on the evening. The lecture runs from 5.30pm until 6.30pm in the main hall at the Oakfield campus.

The University of Bath is one of the UK's leading universities, with an international reputation for quality research and teaching. View a full list of the University's press releases: