From blood to screen17 February 2016
Getting the opportunity to make a super strong fiber of liquid crystals yourself with a syringe in a beaker. The recipe formed an appropriate finish of the public morning of the Playing Colloidal Mikado workshop, organized by the European DiStruc network. Prior to the demonstration, the audience in de Zwarte Doos was brought up to date on the area of expertise of DiStruc: liquid crystals and other so-called colloids - particles with a size of approximately one micrometer.
The morning began with a presentation by Roel Dullens, a scientist who works in Oxford. In this presentation he introduced the audience to the wondrous world of colloids. All particles significantly bigger than molecules and sizably smaller than a grain of sand can be called colloids, regardless of the material they are made of.
Usually they can be found in a liquid medium, Dullens explained. Examples of such colloidal systems which he mentioned were milk, blood, clay and paint, but also the gem we know as opal, in which the small particles - the size of the wavelength of light - are responsible for the most exquisite color combinations.
After Dullens’ presentation the éminence grise of the research into liquid crystals, David Dunmur, provided an overview of the development since their discovery at the end of the 19th century of these special colloids, which we know best from LCD screens.
That liquid crystals have still other applications became quite obvious through the hands-on demonstration of the firm of Teijin Aramid from Arnhem, one of the industrial partners within DiStruc. After the presentation by Dunmur a table filled with glassware was rolled into the Filmzaal. The people present were allowed personally to empty a syringe of liquid crystals into a beaker of salt water. With a certain measure of dexterity this resulted in meters-long fibers, which were displayed on the table.
For a while now, TU/e student Guido Buntinx and his friend Christophe Westerveld (student of Zuyd University of Applied Sciences) have been attracting a lot of attention with their 'electric beer crates'. Limburg's regional TV station and the TV news program Editie NL also got wind of their creative initiative. The short internet videos showing them riding along on the public highways have been watched multiple times.
The Department of Applied Physics needs to make significant savings: one million euros on a total annual budget of nine million. This was announced last week Wednesday by Departmental Dean Gerrit Kroesen at a staff meeting. The draft reorganization plan must be ready by the end of November and, says Kroesen, compulsory redundancies cannot be ruled out. The Departmental Council is holding talks today with the Departmental Office.
The fourth day of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in Australia has come to an end and Solar Team Eindhoven is clearly leading the Cruiser Class. Despite earlier transport problems and the limited window for testing on site, TU/e solar car Stella Vie is performing in the outback “far beyond expectations”. With some 900 kilometers to go, a third world title seems almost a dead cert for the team from Eindhoven - but this is no time for complacency.
For thirty years, Huub Meijer, former Dutch champion and national coach of the Dutch karate team, spent evening after evening in the dojo and the gym of the Student Sports Center working as an instructor. He taught students the intricacies of various martial arts and ran strength-building and circuit training sessions. All the prizes he has won over the years are now stored in plastic bags – ‘they were on show at home for long enough’ – but he looks back on a glittering career with satisfaction, and with even more pleasure on a fine working life as a trainer.
Some rooms in De Plint in Luna are not yet ready to use and so the associations are having to put the brakes on some of their activities. The building contractor has run into delays and current expectations are that everything will be ready by early November. There is evidently so much stuff in the Bunker that it can't all be stored in Luna. Bar Potential hopes to open its doors around New Year's. The cultural associations have just moved from the Bunker to Luna.