Former colleague Dr Keith Bromley reflects on his career at the School of Physics and Astronomy and his transition to working in industry. He also considers how “becoming flummoxed by some of the easier tasks while proving successful in more challenging responsibilities” shaped his journey.
A number of School staff have been involved in research activities and collaborations relating to the world pandemic. Here are some of the current activities.
MSc Science Communication and Public Engagement students Anna Purdue, Hanyue Sun and Jiazhuo Lin interviewed School of Physics and Astronomy researcher Prof Cait MacPhee.
Tell us about your research. How does it link to ice cream?
We are studying a biofilm formed by a very common microbe called Bacillus subtilis. We’re interested in the fact that it’s basically waterproof. We discovered the protein that makes this biofilm water repellent, and it does this by going to an interface between liquid and air and forming a film. Ice cream contains air bubbles which make it lighter and easier to scoop. It also contains oil (fat) and ice crystals. The protein we found goes to the surface of the ice crystals, the surface of the air bubbles and the surface of the oil droplets and stabilises all of them. By doing this you can slow the melting down of the ice cream! Continue reading “The physics of biofilms and ice cream”