over 200 years the Royal Institution (RI) has been diffusing science
for the common purposes of life, providing a forum for anyone
interested in science, irrespective of whether they have a scientific
background or not. Each year the RI makes a presentation to
British U3A.. This year it was at the Friends Meeting House
Euston London because the RI building is undergoing some major
refurbishment. Four members of our U3A travelled down on the
April to hear lectures by 3 people who are established experts in
their specialist fields.
Baroness Susan Greenfield delivered a lecture on The Brain in Sickness and in Health.
The brains of humans and most mammals develop by the extent to which they are exposed to different experiences and challenges. These cause the connections between different brain cells to become increasingly complex. This builds memory and all the mental skills.
Whilst there can be some reduction in capacity due to ageing, this can be minimized providing the brain remains active and exercised. This is clearly not possible when
brain disease such as Alzheimers is contracted, for here there is no
control as the brain cells become progressively destroyed.
Professor Tony Ryan gave the next lecture on Will Nanotechnology Change the World.
Bearing in mind that everything is made of Atoms Nanotechnology starts with the thought that we could build anything if we could arrange the atoms in the correct arrangement. Since atoms are a million times thinner than a human hair, this theory has been discounted.
It is very surprising that any progress has been made with this technology, but it has. Self cleaning Glass, dirt resistant fabrics and some sun screens use this technology, however, the real
|future is probably at a biological
level. Copying the atomic structure of bacteria into
systems to combat
disease, to substantially improve the delivery of drugs to body organs
and create artificial muscle are current objectives. Watch
this space. The future is wet.
Professor Marcus du Sautoy
Delivered the subject of The Music of the Primes.
A prime number is one that can only be divided by itself and the number 1 . Thus the sequence starts with 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, etc. but they appear to continue on to infinity without any logic as to when they will occur. The largest Prime number found to date has 9 million digits.
Mathematicians have found a logarithmic stepped link to the frequency that they occur with a factor of 2.4 seeming to have some significance. However the mystery is far from solved and their search for a mathematical law to connect these primes continues.
All three of these lectures were extremely interesting and most enjoyable.
We are looking forward to attending the presentations next year
may seem a little early to mention the Christmas Lunch but your
committee have confirmed the date and venue.
After our successful meal last year we are repeating the venue of
MARPLE GOLF CLUB on THURSDAY the
We are also having A
DECEMBER GENERAL MEETING on the 13th which we hope will involve all groups.
DETAILS TO FOLLOW
may wish to select a different venue for next year. If you
any ideas of a venue for over 100, please let a committee member know
so that it can be considered.
Click to return to top of page