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The Thermal Methods Group in conjunction with RSC Mid Southern Counties Local Section (MSCLS)


From Rocks to Polymers and Everything in between

Venue - University of Southampton,  Physics B Lecture Theatre

An evening of discovery into the world of materials from the unique perspective of  Thermal Analysis

The current Chair and Past Chair of the RSC Thermal Methods Group will present how we humans have developed and interpreted the world around us using thermal techniques past and present.

We can guarantee an entertaining and informative evening that will almost certainly surprise those attending and reveal some of the stranger techniques and areas that thermal sciences now venture into.

The evening programme will be as follows;

6.30pm -  "An Introduction to the role of Thermal Methods in Understanding Materials"

7.30pm -  Refreshment break

7.45pm  - "What Small Things do when you Heat them Up"


To register for this FREE evening, please go to

An Introduction to the role of Thermal Methods in Understanding Materials

A brief history of thermal technology throughout history followed by; A review of  the range of Thermal techniques currently available and how they are mow often combined with each other and other analytical technologies to explain behaviour of materials and used in various industrial and academic research fields.

The main events that materials can undergo will be discussed, relaxation behaviour, melt/crystallisation, decomposition or other chemical or biological processes will be explained in more detail highlighting optimisation of approach with the Thermal Analytical 'toolbox'.

Examples will be shown how materials of every description can be examined and their behaviour understood better with respect to time, temperature and the environment.

What Small Things do when you Heat them Up

Thermal analysis is the measurement and interpretation of the relationship between the physical and/or chemical properties of a sample and its temperature.   Or, to put it another way - “what things do when you heat them up” (or cool them down).  Studying the changes in a material’s physical properties as a function of temperature may not necessarily tell you what it is, but provides invaluable information concerning its structure and stability.  Traditional thermal analysis techniques are important tools for studying many types of behaviour – both qualitatively and quantitatively - but generally only deal with the whole sample. By combining scanning probe microscopy with thermal analysis, it is possible to do (most) of the usual thermal methods at a very small scale and obtain information on a localized scale.  The speaker will briefly illustrate this approach by reference to his extensive back catalogue of work from his PhD studies at Loughborough University.

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