- Thursday 30 November 2023
- 5:15pm - 6:30pm
- Michael Sadler RBLT (LG.X04)
- Lectures and seminars
- General public
The School of Physics and Astronomy are delighted to host Professor Sonia Contera at the Stoner Colloquium 2023.
Sonia Contera is a Professor of Biological Physics at the University of Oxford. Sonia will be joining us to give the talk, Nano comes to life: how nanotechnology ushers physics into biology, transforming medicine, the future of biology and computing.
The nanometer (0.000000001 meters) is a special size, it is the boundary between the quantum world of atoms and the world that physicists call “classical”, the world of our experience where time only goes forward, where actions have consequences. Nano is the special space where life emerged on Earth. The proteins and biomolecules that make us up are measured in nanometers. This fact reveals the key to its importance; physics (energy, movement, information, quantum processes), chemical reactions and biological functions are intertwined in proteins and biomolecules. The nanoscale is the scale where everything is related, where the complexity that characterizes our lives begins.
How and why do we design and build artificial structures and even machines at the nanoscale using DNA, RNA, proteins, and other biological molecules or construct hybrid bio-inorganic robots using the building principles of biology? In this colloquium, I will explore the intellectual roots and development of nanotechnology (the capacity to visualize and manipulate matter at the nanoscale) and how is now revolutionising medicine: from nanovaccines inspired by biology that can train the immune system to fight cancer or a viral infection, and nanoantibiotics that can eliminate resistant bacteria, to the engineering of tissues and organs for research, drug discovery, and transplantation. More profoundly nanotech facilitates the study of biology within the framework of physics, thereby creating interfaces with other fields (e.g. quantum mechanics and computer science). This will potentially change not only the future of materials, energy, engineering and AI, but also the way we think about life itself, and will give us confidence to pose questions such as “what is intuition"?
Refreshments will be served after the event.