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MM-Waves: From electrons to volcanos by Professor Graham Smith Inaugural Lecture and Reception

Professor Graham Smith of the School of Physics and Astronomy will give his Inaugural Lecture ‘MM-Waves: From electrons to volcanos’.

Abstract: “Millimetre-waves, or mm-waves, are part of the electromagnetic spectrum that forms the sandwich between microwaves and the far-infra-red. They are called ‘mm-waves’ as the wavelength of this ‘light’ lies between 1mm and 10mm. Thirty-five years ago, when I first started my ‘mm-wave’ journey, this part of the spectrum was a little studied and only partially explored technology space. Today, it is at the forefront of modern digital electronics, and destined to have a broad impact on many aspects of everyday life.

“The mm-wave part of the spectrum will be used in next-generation 5G and 6G mobile telephones. It is currently used in advanced car radar, airport security systems, terrain imaging, or new robotic and gesture recognition systems. Astronomers map out the universe by looking at the mm-wave afterglow of the big-bang, or use them to map out the giant gas clouds that will eventually form stars. Cloud radar and radiometry at mm-wavelengths plays a major role in modern weather prediction, and atmospheric studies. Mm-waves are used to heat plasmas to the incredibly high temperatures necessary to create fusion reactions that may form the basis of next-generation energy systems. Using spectroscopy, mm-waves are used to probe and understand defects in semiconductors, the generation of free radicals in chemistry and the microscopic large-scale structure in biomolecules.

“In this lecture I will attempt to give a grand tour of this science, whilst highlighting the work done at St Andrews in many of these areas.”

The Lecture will be followed by a Reception in Lower College Hall. All are welcome.

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