|The diversity in both age and educational training of the capacity audience at the J. J. R. MacLeod Auditorium rivaled the diversity of coloured liquids, glass ware, and implements that decked the lecture bench before them. What would Professor Phillips do with the liquid nitrogen, the plasma globe, or the mysterious figure in the crib? These questions were answered in a series of explosions, fires, and bright flashes that typify his demonstrations. Through these demonstrations, he presented the history of light as a tool in medicine, starting with the basics of fast and slow chemical reactions, and building up to the state of the art in laser surgery and photodynamic therapy.
Highlights of his lecture include igniting hydrogen, burning wood under water, and lighting up a fluorescent light bulb with a toy plasma globe. Perhaps most illuminating was his demonstration of the principle of using light to treat neonatal jaundice.
If you missed the lecture, it can be experienced online as an archived webcast. IOS members can contact Emanuel Istrate for access.
The Stoicheff Lectures are presented by the Institute for Optical Sciences and the Royal Canadian Institute. The lecture series, named after honoured Canadian Physicist Boris P. Stoicheff, was founded by the IOS to bring science to the general public in an entertaining and accessible way. December 10th marked the second annual lecture in the series. The first lecture was given by Professor George I. A. Stegeman on December 7th 2005.
Professor David Philips is an Emeritus Professor, and Senior Dean at Imperial College, London, where he has also held the prestigious titles of Dean of Life Sciences and Physical Sciences, Hoffman Professor of Chemistry, and Head of the Department of Chemistry. Prof. Philips regularly gives 20-30 popular science lectures outside Imperial College per year. While in Canada, Prof. Phillips was interviewed by Daily Planet television host, Jay Ingram.
Professor Boris P. Stoicheff was a Founding Director of the Ontario Laser and Lightwave Research Center, a forerunner to the IOS. He was named the President of the Canadian Association of Physicists in 1983, and became an officer of the Order of Canada in 1982. Professor Stoicheff was named a University Professor in 1977, University of Toronto’s highest honour. His academic achievements include constructing the first ruby laser in Canada, and producing the first high resolution Raman spectra of molecular benzene and of methane. He retired from the University of Toronto in 1989.