Sir Colin Humphreys on electron microscopes, and the thinnest material in the world
How much more of our world could we understand, if we could take stock of it, one atom at a time? If we could see the structure of individual molecules, understand the complex ways they interact with one another, and witness first-hand how they move?
These are questions for electron microscopy, and more broadly, for Materials Science.
Materials scientists peer into the atomic structure of the stuff that makes up our world, to figure out the relationships between the structure of a material, and its resulting properties. They study how to change materials at the molecular level, to improve the way they function in the real world. It’s an interdisciplinary field that spans the physics and chemistry of matter, engineering, and industrial manufacturing. It’s led to an enormous number of advances, from nanotechnology to aerospace engineering, pioneering medical innovations to quantum computing.
And SOME of these advances are thanks to the work of Professor Colin Humphreys.
As Professor of Materials Science at Queen Mary University of London, and Distinguished Research Fellow at the Department of Materials Science at the University of Cambridge, Colin works on materials with fascinating properties that would be hard to understand without delving into their atomic structure: semiconductors, superconductors, nanoparticles, and ultra-high temperature aerospace materials.
He’s also a committed student of Christianity and applies his scientific mind to questions of biblical scholarship: calculating the exact date of the crucifixion for example, or naturalistic explanations for miracles.
Produced by Emily Knight