Fascination Science Lecture Series

30 Apr 2019 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
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Sir Neil Waters Lecture Theatre
Nature provides fascinating examples of nanotechnology, creating functional entities from the bottom-up; from molecules to materials & devices. But this is not the nanotechnology of miniature submarines and nano-bots; it is that of molecular biology, the wet nanotechnology of biopolymers and their assemblies. It is the nanotechnology of DNA condensation and transcription, of protein fibers and molecular motors. It is the physics of the nanoscale that is so elegantly exploited and Brownian motion that brings the dance to life. In order to take a trip down the rabbit hole of such exquisite molecular machinery scientists need not only to see but also to feel the nanoworld. Optical tweezers (OT), for which Arthur Askin was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2018, are one of the exciting tools that can be used to apply and measure minute forces, and they do so, not using tiny mechanical grippers, but using highly focused beams of light. In this talk, Prof. Bill Williams will describe how OT perform this remarkable task and our journey to implement them in order to stretch a single strand of DNA.

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