SPACE buggies, climate change and lasers will be on show for the Port Elizabeth public when some of the brightest scientific minds in South Africa gather for the 60th annual conference of the South African Institute of Physics.
NMMU and Rhodes University will host the four-day conference, which falls within NMMU's annual Science Discovery Week, from June 29 to July 3. The theme for this year's conference is light-based technologies, in keeping with 2015 being the International Year of Light.
The public are invited to attend the free lectures presented by acclaimed scientists including laser physicist Professor Andrew Forbes, of Wits University, experimental nuclear physicist Dr Don Mingay and Nasa's Dr Japie van Zyl. Forbes said he was particularly interested in exciting the next generation of scientists.
"I don't think it matters what we talk about in reaching out to budding young minds. But fortunately for me, light is a wonderful topic. Our future lies with light. Think back 10 to 2O years . . . telephone calls would have involved copper wire and electrons, today it is fibre optics and light.
" At least 450 scientists are expected to attend the conference. NMMU physics department head Professor Andre Venter said pre-booking for the free lectures was essential and could be done via Computicket. "We believe these events will get people excited about the possibilities of science."
Article by Tremaine van Aardt