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Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences (MPLS)

The Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences (MPLS) Division is one of the four academic divisions of the University of Oxford. We have over 6,000 students and research staff, and generate over half of our funding from external research grants.
The MPLS Division's 10 departments and 3 interdisciplinary units span the full spectrum of the mathematical, computational, physical, engineering and life sciences, and undertake both fundamental research and cutting-edge applied work. Our research addresses major societal and technological challenges and is increasingly interdisciplinary in nature. We collaborate closely with colleagues in Oxford across the medical sciences, social sciences and humanities.
Today's scientific research not only crosses traditional subject boundaries, but also transcends national boundaries: MPLS scientists collaborate with researchers from around the world, and play leading roles in many international projects.

Series associated with Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences (MPLS)

A Mathematician's Holiday
Ada Lovelace Symposium - Celebrating 200 Years of a Computer Visionary
Astrophysics: An Introduction
Big Questions - with Oxford Sparks
Building a Business: Moving Your Product to the Market
Caging Schrödinger's Cat - Quantum Nanotechnology
Careers in Chemistry: Academia
Careers in Chemistry: Beyond Academia
Chemistry for the Future: Clean Energy
Chemistry for the Future: Human Health
Chemistry for the Future: Incredible Machines
Chemistry for the Future: Meet the Scientists
Chemistry for the Future: Solar Fuels
Chemistry for the Future: Strange Substances and Structures
Chemistry Spotlight Lectures
Christmas Science Lectures
Computer Science
Cultural Heritage Forum
Darwin 200
Department of Engineering Science Centenary Lectures
Department of Engineering Science Lectures
Department of Materials
Department of Physics
Department of Statistics
Earth Sciences
Exploring Spoken Word Data in Oral History Archives
Hinshelwood Lectures 2018 - Soft Interfaces: A Journey Across Scales
Inside Oxford Science
International Conference on Functional Programming 2017
Lab, Camera, Action!
Mathematical Institute
Musical Abstracts
Open Science
Oxford Physics Alumni
Oxford Physics Public Lectures
Oxford Sparks: bringing science to life
Particle Physics (Alan Barr)
Physics and Philosophy: Arguments, Experiments and a Few Things in Between
Physics Flash Talks
Quantum Mechanics
Reduced Density Matrices in Quantum Physics and Role of Fermionic Exchange Symmetry
Scientific Computing for DPhil Students
So you want to study Chemistry?
Strachey 100: an Oxford Computing Pioneer
Study Skills
Sutton Trust Chemistry Summer School
The Hinshelwood Lectures: Bioinspired Materials
The Medtronic Lectures in Biomedical Engineering
The Oxford Reproducibility School
The Oxford Solid State Basics
The Physics of Fine-Tuning
The Secrets of Mathematics
The World of Art
Theoretical Physics - From Outer Space to Plasma
# Episode Title Description People Date
101 The pharmaceutical industry believes that a lot of academic literature is not reproducible. How should we respond? Chas Bountra (University of Oxford) gives a talk for the Oxford Reproducibility School. Chas Bountra 08 Dec 2017
102 An agenda for reproducible science Marcus Munafo (University of Bristol) gives a talk for the Oxford Reproducibility School. Marcus Munafo 08 Dec 2017
103 Creative Commons Super 8 Languages for Making Movies (Functional Pearl) Leif Andersen (Northeastern University, USA) gives the first presentation in the first panel, Art and Education, in the ICFP 2017 conference. Leif Andersen 07 Dec 2017
104 Oxford Mathematics London Public Lecture - Andrew Wiles In the first Oxford Mathematics London Public Lecture, in partnership with the Science Museum, world-renowned mathematician Andrew Wiles lectured on his current work around Elliptic Curves followed by conversation with Hannah Fry. Andrew Wiles, Martin Bridson, Mary Archer 06 Dec 2017
105 Creative Commons Compositional Creativity: Some Principles for Talking to Computers Chris Martens (North Carolina State University, United States) gives the first talk in the ICFP conference. Chris Martens 05 Dec 2017
106 Where have all the cicada’s gone? In this episode for the Big Questions podcast we went to the New Forest and met up with Professor Alex Rogers, from the department of Computer Sciences from the University of Oxford, to ask: Where have all the cicada’s gone? Alex Rogers 27 Nov 2017
107 The State of the Universe Our Universe was created in 'The Big Bang' and has been expanding ever since. Professor Schmidt describes the vital statistics of the Universe, and tries to make sense of the Universe's past, present, and future. Brian Schmidt 20 Nov 2017
108 The Seduction of Curves: The Lines of Beauty That Connect Mathematics, Art and The Nude - Allan McRobie Allan McRobie explains how the key to understanding the language of curves is René Thom’s Catastrophe Theory, and how – remarkably – the best place to learn that language is perhaps in the life drawing class. Allan McRobie 16 Nov 2017
109 Maths v Disease - Julia Gog Can mathematics really help us in our fight against infectious disease? Join Julia Gog as we explore exciting current research areas where mathematics is being used to study pandemics, viruses and everything in between. Julia Gog 13 Nov 2017
110 How do you run a marathon with two kids? Last month Jessica attempted to break a world record for pushing a double buggy, with two children inside, while running a marathon! Jessica Bruce 08 Nov 2017
111 Superfluids in Flatland: Topology, Defects, and the 2016 Nobel Prize In this talk, Siddharth Parameswaran discusses how a topological approach to 2D systems reveal that they can indeed become superfluid, and lead to surprising and beautiful universal results whose implications continue to resonate today. Siddharth Parameswaran 03 Nov 2017
112 Quantum mechanics on the human scale Stephen Blundell reviews a theory of superconductivity that was developed in Oxford in the 1930’s by Fritz London. Stephen Blundell 03 Nov 2017
113 From Identical Particles to Frictionless Flow John Chalker discusses how the laws of quantum mechanics lead us from the microscopic world to macroscopic phenomena. John Chalker 03 Nov 2017
114 Superconductors: Miracle Materials An introduction to the fascinating world of superconductors and the many surprising phenomena they exhibit, from zero resistance to quantum levitation. Andrew Boothroyd 25 Oct 2017
115 Quantum physics and the nature of computing How can we test a quantum computer? An exploration of some of the theoretical puzzles of this field and how we can investigate them with experimental physics. Jelmer Renema 25 Oct 2017
116 Superconductors: why it’s cool to be repulsive A family-friendly demonstration of superconductors in action. Fran explores the low temperatures we need to make them work, and how we can use superconductors for levitating trains. Fran Kirschner 25 Oct 2017
117 Closing the Gap: the quest to understand prime numbers - Vicky Neale Prime numbers have intrigued, inspired and infuriated mathematicians for millennia and yet mathematicians' difficulty with answering simple questions about them reveals their depth and subtlety. Vicky Neale 24 Oct 2017
118 Cassini-Huygens: Space Odyssey to Saturn and Titan Public Lecture organised by the Aeronautical Society of Oxford in conjunction with the Department of Physics. David Southwood 18 Oct 2017
119 Marsquakes A song about the quest to hear Marsquakes based on research by Dr Neil Bowles at the University of Oxford Neil Bowles 16 Oct 2017
120 Understanding Misunderstanding A song about the parallels of fake news today and satire in the 18th Century based on research by Prof Abigail Williams at the University of Oxford Abigail Williams 16 Oct 2017
121 The Great Vape Debate A song about vaping based on the latest evidence from research, from Dr Jamie Hartmann-Boyce at the University of Oxford Jamie Hartmann-Boyce 16 Oct 2017
122 Stomach is the Monarch A song about how Victorians saw the conversation between the gut and mood, based on research by Dr Emilie Taylor-Brown at the University of Oxford Emilie Taylor-Brown 16 Oct 2017
123 Use the Digital to Make the World you Want to See A song about mapping the internet and how it links to our physical world, based on research by Prof Mark Graham at the University of Oxford. Mark Graham 16 Oct 2017
124 The Jenkin Lecture - Metamaterials: beyond conventional Professor Ekaterina Shamonina delivers the 2017 Jenkin Lecture. Ekaterina Shamonina 04 Oct 2017
125 Creative Commons Nanomaterilas in Revolutionising Diabetes Diagnostics Sam Attias, Winner of the OEA 4th Year Project Presentation Prize gives a talk on his 4th year research project on the application of nanomaterials as a potential non-invasive diagnostic and monitoring method for type-1 diabetes. Sam Attias 04 Oct 2017
126 Update on 2020 Vision After three years as Head of Department, Lionel Tarassenko gives an update on progress towards the 2020 Vision for the Department. Lionel Tarassenko 04 Oct 2017
127 The enzymology of thiamin (vitamin B1) metabolism: biosynthesis, degradation and a thiamin-based antimetabolite. Professor Tadhg Begley, Texas A&M University delivers the 2017 Newton Abraham Lecture. Tadhg Begley, Rajesh Thakker 19 Sep 2017
128 How fast is Greenland moving? Greenland has some many fascinating facts like it’s the world's largest island, it belongs to Denmark, it actually isn’t that green but mostly covered in ice. But did you know that Greenland is actually on the move? Ian Hewitt 31 Aug 2017
129 Lovelace Lecture: Learning and Efficiency of Outcomes in Games Éva Tardos, Department of Computer Science, Cornell University, gives the 2017 Ada Lovelace Lecture on 6th June 2017. Éva Tardos, Leslie Goldberg 22 Aug 2017
130 The Law of the Few The study of networks offers a fruitful approach to understanding human behaviour. Sanjeev Goyal is one of its pioneers. In this lecture Sanjeev presents a puzzle: Sanjeev Goyal 04 Jul 2017
131 Observation of the mergers of binary black holes: The opening of gravitational wave astronomy The 2017 Halley Lecture 7th June 2017 delivered by Professor Rainer Weiss, MIT on behalf of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration Rainer Weiss 27 Jun 2017
132 Ghost Imaging with Quantum Light Physics Colloquium 26th May 2017 delivered by Professor Miles Padgett, University of Glasgow Miles Padgett 27 Jun 2017
133 Pulsars & Extreme Physics - A 50th Anniversary Physics Colloquium 5th May 2017 delivered by Dame Professor Jocelyn Bell Burnell Jocelyn Bell Burnell 27 Jun 2017
134 Starquakes Expose Stellar Heartbeats The 14th Hintze Biannual Lecture 4th May 2017 delivered by Professor Conny Aerts - Director, Institute of Astronomy KU Leuven Connie Aerts 27 Jun 2017
135 What are types for? Types in programming languages are commonly thought of as a way of preventing certain bad things from happening, such as multiplying a number by a string. Jeremy Gibbons 26 Jun 2017
136 Parametric Polymorphism and models of storage In this presentation, Uday brings together two strands of Christopher Strachey’s thought: parametric polymorphism and abstract models of storage. Uday Reddy 26 Jun 2017
137 Probabilistic Programming Hongseok begins by talking about a program of Strachey’s that wrote “love letters” using the Manchester University computer. He then uses this as a lead in for discussing probabilistic methods of generating algorithms and programs. Hongseok Yang 26 Jun 2017
138 Christopher Strachey, First-Class Citizen Philip reviews Christopher Strachey’s influence on modern-day functional programming languages. Philip Wadler 26 Jun 2017
139 A modelling language approach to defining mathematical structures via semantics In this talk, Jane presents about her work on modelling dynamic behaviour of systems using quantative modelling techniques. Particular kinds of modelling diagrams are used and a mathematical approach to looking at their meaning is presented. Jane Hillston 26 Jun 2017
140 Greetings to the participants at “Strachey 100” The logician Dana Scott played a crucial part in the story of denotational semantics, working for a term with Christopher Strachey in Autumn 1969, when he created a mathematical model for the foundation of the method. Dana Scott 26 Jun 2017
141 Strachey: school master, language designer, colleague In this panel discussion, three people who knew Christopher Strachey in different contexts talk about their memories of him. Roger Penrose, Michael Jackson, David Hartley 26 Jun 2017
142 Semantic relationships: reducing the separation between practice and theory Christopher Strachey believed that the gap between theory and practice was impeding the development of computing science. Robert Milne 26 Jun 2017
143 SIS, a semantics implementation system During Peter’s DPhil studies, supervised by Christopher Strachey, he developed a prototype of a system for executing programs based on their denotational semantics. Peter Mosses 26 Jun 2017
144 Strachey and the development of CPL Chrisopher Strachey was the most significant contributor to the design and implementation of the programming language CPL. Martin Richards 26 Jun 2017
145 Strachey and the Oxford Programming Research Group Christopher Strachey’s right-hand man at Oxford talks about Strachey’s time as the head of the Programming Research Group (PRG). Joe Stoy 26 Jun 2017
146 Strachey: the Bloomsbury Years A historian’s perspective on the earlier years of Christopher Strachey’s life. The talk covers his familial connections, his early career as a school master, and his first computing projects. Martin Campbell-Kelly 26 Jun 2017
147 Strachey Lecture- Computer Agents that Interact Proficiently with People Professor Kraus will show how combining machine learning techniques for human modelling, human behavioural models, formal decision-making and game theory approaches enables agents to interact well with people. Sarit Kraus 23 Jun 2017
148 Should I take a selfie with a wild animal? Travel companies around the world profit from some of the cruellest types of wildlife tourist attractions on earth. Tom Moorhouse 02 Jun 2017
149 What does Hollywood get right and wrong when science is in the storyline? What does hollywood get right? Neil Ashton, Colin Wilson, Eleanor Stride, Jason Nurse 02 Jun 2017
150 How open should open data be? Open data impacts everybody. Through it we can access healthcare services, understand our governments better and, of course, travel to places more easily. But, how open should open data be? Sir Nigel Shadbolt 02 Jun 2017
151 The Sound of Symmetry Symmetry has played a role both for composers and in the creation of musical instruments. Marcus shows how composers have used this symmetry and demonstrates how Ernst Chladni revealed extraordinary symmetrical shapes in the vibrations of a metal Plate. Marcus du Sautoy 24 May 2017
152 Creative Commons Will future communications technologies lead to cyber wars or a better world? Communications technology has enabled massive social change over the past decades. However, the many benefits that we enjoy are accompanied by challenges - cyber security, inadequate coverage, the ease of spreading fake news, Naomi Climer 22 May 2017
153 Creative Commons Wireless Communications Using Light In this lecture, Dominic O'Brien introduces the field, the challenges, and the promise for the future of this area of research. Dominic O'Brien 22 May 2017
154 Creative Commons Network Complexity and the Internet of Things In this talk, Justin Coon explores the issue of complexity in the IoT from a fundamental perspective and provide some insight into what this means for practical deployments in the future. Justin Coon 22 May 2017
155 Lecture 6: Bioinspired Colloidal Assembly: From Photonics to Encryption The sixth lecture in the Hinshelwood lecture series. Joanna Aizenberg 18 May 2017
156 Lecture 5: Everything SLIPS: A New Concept in Anti-biofouling Materials The fifth lecture in the Hinshelwood lecture series Joanna Aizenberg 18 May 2017
157 Lecture 4: Hydrophobicity, Superhydrophobicity, Omniphobicity and Slippery Surfaces The fourth lecture in the Hinshelwood lecture series Joanna Aizenberg 18 May 2017
158 Lecture 3: Actuated "spiny" Surfaces a la Echinoderms: En Route for Adaptive Materials The third lecture in the Hinshelwood lecture series. Joanna Aizenberg 18 May 2017
159 Lecture 2: Rationally Designed Complex 3D Microarchitectures The second lecture in the Hinshelwood lecture series Joanna Aizenberg 18 May 2017
160 Lecture 1: Bio-inspired approaches to crystal design The first lecture in the Hinshelwood lecture series. Joanna Aizenberg 18 May 2017
161 The Butterfly Effect - What Does it Really Signify? Tim Palmer discusses Ed Lorenz the man and his work, and compares and contrasts the meaning of the “Butterfly Effect" as most people understand it today, and as Lorenz himself intended it to mean. Tim Palmer 18 May 2017
162 Exploring the very early universe with gravitational waves John March-Russell gives a talk about gravitational wave signals of stringy physics, a ‘soundscape’ connected to the landscape of string vacua. John March-Russell 10 May 2017
163 The birth of gravitational wave astronomy Subir Sarkar reviews the detection of the ‘chirrup’ signal from a pair of merging massive black holes by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, as well as subsequent experimental developments. Subir Sarkar 10 May 2017
164 From action at a distance to gravitational waves James Binney gives a talk about the mathematics that describe Gravitational waves. James Binney 10 May 2017
165 What happened to the first soviet scientist to solve a fundamental problem in mathematics? New episode for the Oxford Sparks Big questions series. Christopher Hollings 08 May 2017
166 How open should open data be? Open data impacts everybody. Through it we can access healthcare services, understand our governments better and, of course, travel to places more easily. But, how open should open data be? Sir Nigel Shadbolt 04 May 2017
167 Curiosity’s Search for Ancient Habitable Environments at Gale Crater, Mars 4th Annual Lobanov-Rostovsky Lecture in Planetary Geology delivered by Professor John Grotzinger, Caltech, USA John Grotzinger 27 Apr 2017
168 The Origins and Evolution of Exoplanet Atmospheres and Oceans 3rd Annual Lobanov-Rostovsky Lecture in Planetary Geology delivered by Professor Raymond T Pierrehumbert. Raymond T Pierrehumbert 27 Apr 2017
169 Curiosity’s Search for Ancient Habitable Environments at Gale Crater, Mars 4th Annual Lobanov-Rostovsky Lecture in Planetary Geology delivered by Professor John Grotzinger, Caltech, USA John Grotzinger 27 Apr 2017
170 Spatio-temporal Optical Vortices Physics Colloquium 10th March 2017 delivered by Professor Howard Milchberg, University of Maryland, USA Howard Milchberg 27 Apr 2017
171 Learning new physics from a medieval thinker: Big Bangs and Rainbows Physics Colloquium 24 February 2017 delivered by Professor Tom McLeish FRS, Department of Physics and Institute for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Durham University, UK Tom McLeish 27 Apr 2017
172 The applied side of Bell nonlocality Physics Colloquium 17 February 2016 delivered by Professor Valerio Scarani Valerio Scarani 27 Apr 2017
173 What does Hollywood get right and wrong when science is in the storyline? What does hollywood get right? Neil Ashton, Colin Wilson, Eleanor Stride, Jason Nurse 19 Apr 2017
174 Should I take a selfie with a wild animal? Travel companies around the world profit from some of the cruellest types of wildlife tourist attractions on earth. Tom Moorhouse 11 Apr 2017
175 The Beauty of Flavour - Latest results from the LHCb experiment at the Large Hadron Collider Physics Colloquium 3 February 2017 delivered by Professor Val Gibson, Cambridge Val Gibson 05 Apr 2017
176 From Materials to Cosmology: Studying the early universe under the microscope Physics Colloquium 27 January 2017 delivered by Professor Nicola Spaldin, ETH Zurich Nicola Spaldin 05 Apr 2017
177 The New Era in Observational Cosmology In the fourth part of their discussion, Pedro Ferreira and Jerome Martin conjecture about the future of inflation. They talk about the potential for new evidence for and against the theory, and the variety of new probes into our cosmological environment. Pedro Ferreira, Jerome Martin 04 Apr 2017
178 When is a theory good enough? In the third part of their discussion, Pedro Ferreira and Jerome Martin talk about whether one should look for a deeper physical theory when one’s current theory is well-supported by observation. Pedro Ferreira, Jerome Martin 04 Apr 2017
179 Can we measure naturalness? In the second part of their discussion, Pedro Ferreira and Jerome Martin consider ways to build the naturalness of an inflationary model into our expectations for observing it. Pedro Ferreira, Jerome Martin 04 Apr 2017
180 An Encyclopedia of Inflation In the first part of their discussion, Pedro Ferreira and Jerome Martin talk about the variety of inflationary models. They discuss methods for distinguishing between them based on evidence and describe the application of Bayesian statistics to inflation. Pedro Ferreira, Jerome Martin 04 Apr 2017
181 Inflation in the Future What should we expect to learn in the future? In the fourth part of their chat, Dave Sloan and Robert Brandenberger talk about how we expect inflationary theory to develop, and how observations may lead to new physics in this area. David Sloan, Robert Brandenberger 04 Apr 2017
182 Strings, Inflation, and Alternatives In the third part of their discussion, Dave Sloan and Robert Brandenberger explain the relationship between string theory and inflationary models. Can inflation arise from particle physics, or do we need to look for alternative models? David Sloan, Robert Brandenberger 04 Apr 2017
183 Inflation Predicts In the second part of their discussion, Dave Sloan and Robert Brandenberger tell us what inflation predicts and whether inflation itself seems fine-tuned. This discussion was conducted at the University of Oxford on March 14, 2017. David Sloan, Robert Brandenberger 04 Apr 2017
184 Evidence For Inflation In the first part of their discussion, Dave Sloan and Robert Brandenberger go over our evidence for inflationary theories and discuss how inflationary models improve on the hot big bang. David Sloan, Robert Brandenberger 04 Apr 2017
185 Panel on Inflation Professor Joe Silk talks with Professor Robert Brandenberger, Professor Jerome Martin, and Dr. Dave Sloan about the current state of research and controversies surrounding inflation. Joe Silk, Robert Brandenberger, Jerome Martin, David Sloan 04 Apr 2017
186 Does Inflationary Cosmology Solve Fine-Tuning Problems? Professor Robert Brandenberger (McGill) argues that inflationary models still face considerable challenges. Robert Brandenberger 04 Apr 2017
187 Inflationary Attractors Dr David Sloan (Oxford) discusses the for inflation to occur given typical initial conditions. He argues that, on the right understanding of the background dynamics of the universe, inflationary conditions dominate. David Sloan 04 Apr 2017
188 Inflation After Planck Professor Jerome Martin (Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris) explains the current state of evidence for inflationary models. Jerome Martin 04 Apr 2017
189 Redder is better! Exploring the universe with the successor to Hubble Rebecca Bowler, University of Oxford give a talk about the successor to the Hubble telescope - The James Webb Space Telescope - which will detect infrared radiation. Rebecca Bowler 28 Mar 2017
190 Creative Commons On the trail of the most energetic particles in the universe Rafael Alves Batista, University of Oxford, gives a talk about cosmic rays. Rafael Alves Batista 28 Mar 2017
191 Advanced LIGO: The Era of Gravitational Wave Astronomy Dr Philipp Podsiadlowski, University of Oxford gives a talk about gravitational waves in light of the recent detections by the LIGO detector. Philipp Podsiadlowski 28 Mar 2017
192 Things that go bump in the night: Exploding stars and black holes Professor Rob Fender, University of Oxford talks through some observations of black holes. Rob Fender 28 Mar 2017
193 Creative Commons How do you teach a machine to a drive a car? Autonomous cars have been a staple of science fiction for years featuring in films like Minority Report and I Robot. But how far away are we really from enjoying a hassle-free driving journey? To find out the answer we visited Dr Ingmar Posner, Associate Ingmar Posner 28 Mar 2017
194 Strachey Lecture - Probabilistic machine learning: foundations and frontiers Professor Zoubin Ghahramani gives a talk on probabilistic modelling from it's foundations to current areas of research at the frontiers of machine learning. Zoubin Ghahramani 15 Mar 2017
195 Will supersonic transport ever make a comeback? The Concord is seen as an iconic aircraft and a technological breakthrough – so why can we only see them in museums? In our episode of The Big Questions podcast series we visited Dr Neil Ashton from the E-Research Centre at the University of Oxford to ask Neil Ashton 13 Mar 2017
196 The Future of Particle Physics Panel Discussion Panel discussion with Prof John Womersley (STFC), Prof John Wheater (Department of Physics), Prof Ian Shipsey (Particle Physics), Prof Dave Wark (Particle Physics), Prof Daniella Bortoletto (Physics) and Prof Subir Sarkar (Particle Theory Group) John Womersley, John Wheater, Ian Shipsey, Dave Wark 07 Mar 2017
197 The Future of Particle Physics: The Particle Physics Christmas Lecture Professor John Womersley (STFC) gives the Particle Physics Christmas Lecture. John Womersley 07 Mar 2017
198 Kilometres: Turbulence - Morning of Theroetical Physics Fasten Your Seat Belts: Turbulent Flows in Nature. Turbulence is ubiquitous in nature, and it often causes us headaches both literal and metaphorical. Michael Barnes 28 Feb 2017
199 Microns: The bacterial viewpoint - Morning of Theroetical Physics Ramin Golestanian will introduce you to Life at Low Reynolds number and ask how microorganisms can swim, navigate, and coordinate their activities. Ramin Golestanian 28 Feb 2017
200 Centimetres: Fluids all around us - Morning of Theroetical Physics Julia Yeomans will talk about fluids and flows all around us: from superhydrophobic surfaces and how animals and plants keep dry, to bouncing droplets and balloons. Julia Yeomans 28 Feb 2017