The Uncanny Physics of Superhero Comic Books

Maths & Physics News

a public lecture by

Professor James Kakalios

(The University of Minnesota, USA)

Thursday, 7th of September 2017,

6:00 pm

Isaac Newton Lecture Theatre, Isaac Newton Building, Brayford Campus, University of Lincoln

Book a place

In 2001 I created a Freshman Seminar class at the University of Minnesota entitled: “Everything I Know About Science I Learned from Reading Comic Books.” This is a real physics class, that covers topics from Isaac Newton to the transistor, but there’s not an inclined plane or pulley in sight.  Rather, ALL the examples come from superhero comic books, and as much as possible, those cases where the superheroes get their physics right!

This class drew a great deal of media attention in 2002 with the release of the first Spider-Man film, and led to my writing a popular science book THE PHYSICS OF SUPERHEROES. My talk will show how superhero comic books can be used…

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News from IOP North East Branch

IOP Lincoln Centre

Our colleagues at IOP North East Branch reported on Fabien Paillusson’s talk on the 15th June 2017 in Newcastle:

The rather curiously titled lecture comes about because Entropy is often accused of being the origin of disorder in the Universe and “Phoenix Wright” is a fictional lawyer who often has to deal with “hopeless” cases as Fabien explained.
His talk was an enlightening example of bringing to light a difficult subject whereby the mysterious entity “Entropy” was explained lucidly with many informative slides and videos. The talk was followed by a question and answer session. If members of the audience would like to ask further questions (or even if you were not there !), then please head to our blog post.

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Lincoln named in UK’s top 50 universities

Maths & Physics News

The University of Lincoln has been named in the UK’s top 50 universities in the Complete University Guide 2017. The latest version of the national university league table is published online today (Monday 25th April 2016) at
The main table of the Complete University Guide 2017 ranks 127 higher education institutions on ten measures: Student Satisfaction, Research Quality, Research Intensity, Entry Standards, Student: Staff Ratio; Spending on Academic Services; Spending on Student Facilities; Good Honours degrees achieved; Graduate Prospects and Completion.

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Newton apple tree in Lincoln!

Maths & Physics News

Elizabeth Allen, the university PR Officer, writes:

In a commemorative event on Tuesday 1st March 2016, a graft was taken from the ancient apple tree which still survives in Newton’s birthplace at Woolsthorpe Manor, near Grantham. This is the tree from which it is reputed Newton saw an apple fall causing him to speculate upon the nature of gravitation during the ‘Year of Wonders’ (1665-66), when he achieved his most notable works.

The graft was kindly donated to the University of Lincoln by Woolsthorpe Manor, and it will now be nurtured for up to two years before being planted next to the institution’s new Sir Isaac Newton Building.

Named after one of Lincolnshire’s most famous sons, the Sir Isaac Newton Building will be home to the University’s new School of Mathematics and Physics, as well as the Schools of Engineering and Computer Science.

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Javier reports on his visit to Barcelona

Computational Physics Group

Thanks to the Santander International Exchange Bursary I could spend 3 weeks in Barcelona under the supervision of Prof. Ignacio Pagonabarraga at the Universitat de Barcelona.

ramblas-hotel-is-next-to-las-ramblas-of-barcelona Las Ramblas, Barcelona

My trip begun on the Monday 25th of January and ended on the 12th of February. During this time I was able to discuss with Prof. Pagonabarraga many interesting physical aspects to be included in my PhD. After a first week in which we mostly reviewed the work that I had done and we attempted to improve our understanding of the model and simulations of systems of nanoparticles and diblock copolymer, we were able to move forward to consider new physical properties to be studied. It was particularly interesting to possibility to make the colloids to be active brownian particles.

This visit to Barcelona also allowed me to meet other PhD students working under Prof. Pagonabarraga’s supervision. During my last week…

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Fascinating foams: the mathematics of soap bubbles

Maths & Physics News


Guest Public Lecture by Professor Simon Cox

on March 2, 2015, from 5.30pm to 7pm, in the EMMTEC lecture theatre on the main Brayford Campus of the University of Lincoln

Behind the apparent randomness of the foam on your bath, in your washing machine, or in your glass, are strict geometrical rules that dictate the arrangements of bubbles and soap films. From minimal surfaces to varicose veins, this talk will explain how mathematics contributes to the many uses of foams.

Courtesy of Professor Simon Cox  Courtesy of Professor Simon Cox

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Nano-world in your hand


Computational Physics Group

A wonderful structure produced with modern technology of 3D printing arrived today by post. The 3D print was produced in the group of Dr. C. Heath Turner, Associate Professor at the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, the University of Alabama, USA. The structure represents an approximatelly one hundred thousand times magnified nano-structure of block copolymers under electric field and was first obtained by computer simulation in the group of Andrei Zvelindovsky in collaboration with scientists from Japan (Ly D.Q., Honda T., Kawakatsu T., Zvelindovsky A.V. “Kinetic pathway of gyroid-to-cylinder transition in diblock copolymer melt under electric field” Macromolecules 40 (2007) 2928-2935).


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Soft Matter in Rome


Computational Physics Group

On 15-19 September 2013 Manuela, Marco, and Andrei participated in the worlds largest International Soft Matter Conference 2013 held at Sapienza University of Rome. The conference was the 3rd of its kind, which takes place every 3 years. It covered topics of Biological Soft Matter, Colloids, Dynamics of complex fluids, Membranes, Polymers, Self-assembly, Surfaces and interfaces, and Soft Nanotechnology.

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