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Tyndall Lecture

The Physics of Waves by Tom McCormack

Wednesday 6 February 2019

Suitable for GCSE and AS Level students

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Ever wondered how Shazam works? Or Autotunes? Or perhaps wondered why we believe the universe started with a big bang? Surprisingly the answer to these questions have a common thread - music.

Music and physics have always been close cousins. From Kepler’s description of the planets using musical harmonies to modern string theory, where all the world is a vibration.

We will see how simple concepts in waves and music help us understand the everyday world around us and also help us peer into the distant corners of the universe.

Along the way there will be plenty of interactive demonstrations and audience participation.  

Tom McCormack has a PhD in atomic physics and is a lecturer in physics in UCD. His research interests range from the interaction of lasers with atoms to novel semiconductor light sources to innovative teaching and learning methods.  

Tom is highly interested in the promotion of science and is actively involved in many physics outreach projects at UCD from transition year events and workshops to school visits. His outreach activities have brought him as far as the Arctic where he spent two weeks on a sailing ship performing a series of experiments to help illuminate his lectures.