Niels Bohr Lecture and NBIA Colloquium by Julia Collins

A Knot's Tale : Three great men, two smoking boxes, one brilliant wrong idea...

Tea and coffee will be available outside the lecture room from 11.00.

Trefoil knotAbstract:
I will tell the story of three best friends in 19th century Scotland and their attempt to develop an atomic theory based on knots and links. Tait, Kelvin and Maxwell were inspired by a fantastic experiment involving smoke rings, and their theories, whilst being completely wrong, inspired a new field of mathematical study which is once again becoming important in physics, chemistry and biology.

About Julia Collins:

Julia Collins received her PhD in mathematics in 2011 at the University of Edinburgh for work on knot theory. She is currently Mathematics Engagement Officer at the University of Edinburgh, where her responsibilities include lecturing to undergraduates and to the general public, as well as carrying out research.