Departmental Seminar

Matthew Flinders Lecture 2.0: The physical and biological sciences divide

Professor Barry Ninham
Department of Applied Mathematics, The Australian National University

Dr Ninham recently received the Matthew Flinders medal and will present us the lecture he gave at this occasion. 

He will discuss how the classical theories of physical chemistry that underpin our intuition about the deepest levels of biology, while initially useful, have become rigid and inhibiting to progress. By bringing together a number of advances in related fields, he will give an account of the complexities that are missing from classical theories of physical chemistry (such as Lifshitz theory, Hofmeister (specific ion ) effects, ‘non-Hofmeister’ effects on the surface of bubbles, and the effects of dissolved atmospheric gas). When we include them, a different intuition and new vistas emerge that open up new technologies, for example in desalination, water purification and sterilisation.

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