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SPOCK Events Archive

For your information below, an historical record of activites on the SPOCK Programme, including details of conferences, talks, posters and meetings involving SPOCK researchers

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YEAR 4 - 2017-8

Details of events from Year 4 - 1 October 2017 to 30 September 2018

Year 4 - Conference and Other Talks and Conference Attendances

Date Name Details
January 2018Mark DennisInvited talk, 'A light-ray picture of structured Gaussian beams', SPIE Photonics West conference, San Francisco, USA.
February 2018Mark DennisInvited talk, 'How to tie a wavefunction into a knot', Cambridge University Physics Society, UK.
March 2018Danica SugicSubmitted talk, 'Knotted Hopfion Texture of Polarization States in Tightly Focused Light', APS March Meeting, Los Angeles, US.
March 2018Simon GardinerInvited plenary talk, 'Cold atom Sagnac interferometry with ring-trapped BoseEinstein condensates', FINESS 2018 (Finite Temperature Nonequilibrium Superfluid Systems), Wanaka, New Zealand
April 2018Keith AlexanderContributed talk, 'Using virtual knots to identify ambiguously knotted confirmations of proteins and open random walks', AMS Spring Eastern Sectional Meeting, Boston, US.
June 2018Dave FosterInvited talk, 'Composite Skyrmion bags in two-dimensional materials', Solitons (non)Integrability Geometry in High Energy Physics and String Theory (SIG VII) conference in Krakow, Poland.
June 2018Jon SteedPlenary Lecture (opening talk), 'Control and Crystallization in Supramolecular Gels', International Symposium on Metal Complexes, Florence, IInternational Symposium on Metal Complexes Florence, Italy.
June 2018Jeremy KendalTalk: 'L.A. Scanlon, A. Lobb, J. Tehrani & J.R. Kendal - Social learning errors and the evolution of material culture: cognitive factors affecting forms of granny and reef knots', Applications in Cultural Evolution, Tartu University, Estonia.
July 2018Ifan HughesInternational Conference on Atomic Physics, Barcelona, Spain.
July 2018Paul SutcliffeInvited talk, 'Magnetic Hopfions', 23rd International Colloquium on Magnetic Films and Surfaces, University of California in Santa Cruz, US.
July 2018Paul SutcliffeInvited talk, 'Magnetic Skyrmions and Hopfions', Conference on Low Energy Effective Dynamics of Skyrmions, University of Leeds, UK.
July 2018Dave FosterInvited talk, 'Composite Skyrmion bags in two-dimensional materials', IoP conference 'Low Energy Effective Dynamics of Skyrmions', Leeds, UK.
August 2018Paul SutcliffeInvited talk, 'Magnetic Hopfions', Workshop on The Skyrmion Project, Trinity Hall, Cambridge, UK.
September 2018Paul SutcliffeInvited talk, 'Topological Solitons: From Nuclei to Magnetic Media', Workshop on Unconventional Superfluids, Lancaster University, UK.
September 2018Simon GardinerInvited talk, 'Imprinting of knotted vortices on atomic superfluids with light and the creation of knotted optical longitudinal polarization structures', Dynamics Days Europe 2018, Loughborough, UK.
September 2018Fabian MaucherInvited talk, 'Self-Organization of light in optical media with competing nonlocal nonlinearities', Dynamics Days Europe 2018, Loughborough, UK.
October 2018Jeremy KendalInvited talk, 'The effects of non-random social learning error on the cultural evolution of knots', Cultural Evolution Society Conference (CES2018), Arizona State University, US.

Year 4 - Posters Presented

Date Name Details
October 2017Ben BodePoster, EXAMPLE: Real algebraic links and knotted fields, Winter Braids VII School, Caen, France.
July 2018Brette ChapinPoster, 'Towards Knotted Belousov-Zhabotinsky Wave Filaments', 13th International Symposium on Macrocyclic and Supramolecular Chemistry, Quebec City, Canada.
May 2018Ifan HughesPoster, 'Quantum optics in the hyperfine Paschen-Back regime', Hot Vapor Workshop, Stuttgart, Germany.

YEAR 3 - 2016-7

Details of events from Year 3 - 1 October 2016 to 30 September 2017

Year 3 - Conference and Other Talks and Conference Attendances

4th International Conference on Optical Angular Momentum (ICOAM17), Capri, Italy.4th International Conference on Optical Angular Momentum (ICOAM17), Capri, Italy.
Date Name Details
October-2016Fabian MaucherInvited keynote talk, 'Nonlocal Nonlinear Optics' at 1st International Conference on Optics, Photonics and Materials, Nice, France
October-2016Alexander TaylorInvited talk, 'Geometry and Topology of vortices in random quantum eigenfunctions', Theoretical physics group, University of Warwick, UK
October-2016Simon GardinerInvited talk, 'Rotational sensing with cold atoms', Nano Science and Technology, Singapore
January-2017Jon SteedDistinguished Lecturer at the Hong Kong Baptist University
January-2017Simon GardinerSeminar, Rotational sensing with interacting Bose-condensed atoms in ring traps, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, Onna, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan.
January-2017Mark DennisInvited talk, 'Swings & Roundabouts: Operators and Rays for Structured Gaussian Beams', Max Planck Institute, Dresden, Germany
January-2017Mark DennisInvited talk, 'Getting tangled in structured light: knotted linear wave fields', Theoretical Physics Colloquium, University of Oxford, UK
February-2017Mark DennisInvited talk, 'How to Tie a (Linear, Optical) Field into a Knot', Theoretical Physics Seminar, University of Plymouth, UK
February-2017Mark DennisInvited talk, 'How to Tie a (Linear, Optical) Field into a Knot', Theoretical Physics Seminar, University of Birmingham, UK
February-2017Mark DennisInvited talk, 'Knots in Waves: Topological Engineering & Behaviour in the Wild', Wave Engineering Workshop, University of Bristol
February-2017Dave FosterInvited talk, 'Skyrmions and Nuclear Matter', Theoretical Physics Seminar, University of Warwick
February-2017Elena BonioloInvited talk: 'Model for the diffusion of DNA knots in a gel', International Soft Matter Workshop, Helford, UK
February-2017Danica SugicInvited talk: 'Designing knotted optical fields for light-matter interaction', Collaborative visit to Prof. Etienne Brasselet's group at the University of Bordeaux, France
March-2017Mark Dennis
David Foster
Alexander Taylor
Ben Bode
Keith Alexander
Session Chair, "Knotting in Filaments and Fields", APS March Meeting, New Orleans, USA. Talks involving SPOCK members within the session were:
Keith Alexander, Alexander Taylor, Mark Dennis, 'Virtual knotting in proteins and other open curves'
Mervyn Miles, David Foster, Annela Seddon, David Phillips, David Carberry, Miles Padgett, Mark Dennis, 'Tying Knots in DNA with Holographic Optical Tweezers'
Mark Dennis, 'Optical Vortex Knots in Tightly-focused Light Beams'
Ben Bode, Mark Dennis, 'A Knotted Complax Scalar Field for any Knot'
Alexander Taylor, Mark Dennis, 'Stability of Knotted Vortices in Wave Chaos'
April-2017Lauren Scanlon
Jeremy Kendal
Jamie Tehrani
Andrew Lobb
Invited talk, 'The cultural evolution of knot tying: an analysis of the cultural transmission of granny and reef knots', European Human Behaviour and Evolution Association (EHBEA) 2017, Paris, France
April-2017Jon SteedInvited talk, 'Gel-Based Approaches to Novel Solid Forms', 23rd International Conference on the Chemistry of the Organic Solid State, Stellenbosch, South Africa
April-2017Paul SutcliffeInvited talk, 'Knots and Vortices', Workshop on Solitons: Integrability, Duality and Applications, International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Sao Paulo, Brazil
April-2017Mark DennisInvited talk, 'How to tie a (linear optical) field into a knot', collaborative visit to Cornelia Denz's Nonlinear Photonics Group at the University of Münster
April-2017Dave FosterInvited talk, 'The decay of Hopf solitons in the Skyme model', Workshop on Solitons: Integrability, Duality and Applications, at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics, São Paolo, Brazil
May-2017Simon GardinerSeminar, Sagnac interferometry with BoseEinstein condensates, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK
May-2017Simon GardinerInvited plenary talk, 'Atomtronic rotational sensing with BoseEinstein condensates', Atomtronics 2, Benasque, Spain
May-2017Fabian MaucherInvited Contributed Talk, 'Excitable Knots', Computational Neuroscience and Optical Dynamics, workshop, Nice, France
May-2017Fabian MaucherInvited Seminar, 'Excitable knots', Lyon, France
May-2017Fabian MaucherInvited Seminar, 'Accessing Attractors of Nonlinear Fields using Vortices', Newcastle, UK
June-2017Jon SteedTalk, 'Solid form control using supramolecular gels', Bologna Crystal Forms (CF@BO 2017), Bologna, Italy
June-2017Mark DennisInvited talk, 'Visualizing Vassiliev invariants using Linking = Writhe + Twist', Stu Whittington 75th Birthday event, Fields Institute, Toronto, Canada
June-2017Mark DennisInvited talk, 'Getting tangled in structured light: knotted wave fields', invitation from Miguel Alonso, Centre for Coherence and Quantum Optics Colloquium, University of Rochester, NY, USA
June-2017Jeremy KendalTalk, 'Non-random error in the cultural transmission of knot tying', Social Learning and Cultural Evolution Workshop, Keele University, UK
June-2017Dave FosterInvited talk, 'Magnetic skyrmions', Solitons (non)Integrability Geometry conference, Krakow, Poland
July-2017Fabian MaucherContributed talk, 'Self-Organisation of Light in Optical Media with Competing Nonlocal Nonlinearities', EGAS Conference, Durham University, UK
July-2017Paul SutcliffeInvited talk, 'Skyrmion knots in frustrated magnets', Topological Solitons, Nonperturbative Gauge Dynamics and Confinement, Conference at the Department of Physics, University of Pisa, Italy
July-2017Ben BeswickTalk, 'Modeling atom interferometers using ε\epsilon-Pseudoclassics', Northern Quantum Meeting, Manchester, UK
July-2017Ben BodeInvited talk, 'Constructing real algebraic links', Mini-Workshop on Topology of Singularities, III, Tohoku University, Japan
July-2017Ben BodeInvited talk, 'On the crossing numbers of composite knots and theta curves', The 9th KOOK-TAPU Joint Seminar on Knots and Related Topics, Osaka City University, Japan
July-2017Ben BodeInvited talk, 'Constructing links of isolated singularities of real polynomials', Friday Seminar on Knots and Related Topics, Osaka City University, Japan
August-2017Annela SeddonKeynote lecture, 'Control and Orientation of Three Dimensional Biological Lipid Phases', The 7th Asian Conference on Colloid and Interface Science, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
August-2017Annela SeddonInvited talk on sponge phase work at session on self-assembly and soft nanomaterials, 7th International Conference on Nanoscience and Technology, China 2017 (ChinaNANO 2017)
September-2017Mark DennisInvited talk, 'Swings and Roundabouts: Operators and Rays for structured Gaussian beams', Workshop - Chiral Photonics 2017, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Erlangen, Germany
September-2017Keith AlexanderSubmitted talk, 'Using Virtual Knots to Understand Ambiguous Polymer Conformations', IoP Polymer Physics Group, Physical Aspects of Polymer Science 2017, Swansea, UK
September-2017Mark DennisInvited talk, 'Knotted optical singularities in free space: designed, random and accidental', 4th International Conference on Optical Angular Momentum (ICOAM17), Capri, Italy

Year 3 - Posters Presented

Date Name Details
February-2017Ben Bode'Real algebraic links and knotted fields', Winter Braids VII School, Caen, France
March-2017David Foster'The decay of Hopf solitons in the Skyrme model', APS March Meeting, New Orleans, USA
July-2017Elena Boniolo'Gender equality and successful scientific research are strongly tied together in knotted biopolymers', IUPAP International Conference on Women in Physics, Birmingham, UK
July-2017Danica Sugic'Much ado about knotting', IUPAP International Conference on Women in Physics, Birmingham, UK
July-2017Simon Gardiner'Raman transfer of knotted optical vortices onto atomic Bose-Einstein condensates', EGAS 2017, Durham, UK
July-2017Simon Gardiner'Raman transfer of knotted optical vortices onto atomic Bose-Einstein condensates', Bose-Einstein Condensation 2017: Frontiers in Quantum Gases, Sant Feliu, Spain
July-2017Ben Beswick'An ε\epsilon-Pseudoclassical Model for Quantum Resonances in a Periodically Laser-Driven Dilute Atomic-Gas', EGAS Conference, Durham University, UK
July-2017Ifan Hughes'Quantitative modeling of coherent atom-light interactions in 2, 3 and 4-level systems in the hyperfine Paschen-Back(HPB)regime', EGAS Conference, Durham University, UK
September-2017Ben Beswick'An ε\epsilon-Pseudoclassical Model for Quantum Resonances in a Periodically Laser-Driven Dilute Atomic-Gas', QUAMP, Glasgow, UK
September-2017Danica Sugic'Knotted polarization hopfions in tightly focused light', Workshop Chiral Photonics 2017 at Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Erlangen, Germany
September-2017Danica Sugic'Knotted hopfions in tightly focused light', 4th International Conference on Optical Angular Momentum (ICOAM17), Capri, Italy

Year 3 - Outreach Activities

Date Name Details
November-2016Sir Michael Atiyah
Sir Michael Berry
Prof. Paul Sutcliffe
Filmed presentations and group discussion, The Art and Science of Knots. University of Edinburgh, UK
November-2016Ben BeswickQuantum Physics Demo, Saturday Morning Physics, Durham University
May-2017Ben BeswickTalks, 'What has quantum physics ever done for us?' and 'Does the real world have glitches?', The Science Room @ The Art House, Southampton, UK
May-2017Keith Alexander'Research Without Borders' event: a university wide engagement activity presenting the work of postgraduates, which was open to the public as well as invited guests from the university and industry. Keith presented a poster on knotted proteins and our approach to understanding their entanglements using virtual knots
May-2017Bristol GroupSabetta Matsumoto (Georgia Tech) and Henry Segerman (Oklahoma State), Public lecture on Non-Euclidean Virtual Reality. Visualisation of non-Euclidean geometry, including hands-on demonstrations with virtual reality kit and 3D prints. A good cross-section of UG, PG and academic colleagues attended from different departments, as well as some audience members from outside the University
July-2017Keith Alexander
Danica Sugic
Mark Dennis
Alex Houston
Mark, Danica, Alex and Keith entertained 12 work experience students with an interactive lecture covering various aspects of theoretical physics with links to knot theory. Mark introduced the history of knot theory, Alex discussed topological aspects of flight and wing shape, Danica spoke about caustics and knotted optical vortices and Keith talked about knotted DNA and proteins. They provided several activities for the students to 'try for themselves' such as group discussions, knot tying exercises and finding caustic patterns, as well as demonstrating smoke rings, flying circular paper planes and mobius zipsMark, Danica, Alex and Keith entertained 12 work experience students with an interactive lecture covering various aspects of theoretical physics with links to knot theory. Mark introduced the history of knot theory, Alex discussed topological aspects of flight and wing shape, Danica spoke about caustics and knotted optical vortices and Keith talked about knotted DNA and proteins. They provided several activities for the students to 'try for themselves' such as group discussions, knot tying exercises and finding caustic patterns, as well as demonstrating smoke rings, flying circular paper planes and mobius zips
August-2017Paul SutcliffePublic Lecture: 'Tying Tornadoes in Knots' at the Young Researchers in Mathematics 2017 Meeting at the University of Kent

Year 3 - Group Meetings

Date Room Theme Talk Information
22/02/2017CM219BZBZ
08/02/2017CM219BZBZ
25/01/2017CM219BZBZ
14/12/2016CM212aBZBZ
23/11/2016CG60PhysicsFabian Maucher - Research Update

Year 3 - Other Events

Date Location Details
March-2017DurhamInvited Speaker: Hayder Salman (University of East Anglia), 'Threading Knotted and Tangled Filamentary Phase Defects in Complex Scalar Fields'
March-2017BristolInvited Speaker: Duncan O'Dell, 'Morphology of a Quantum Catastrophe'
March-2017CambridgeIfan Hughes visited the Engineering Department at Cambridge University
March-2017DurhamBristol group visit to Durham to provide an update on current work
February-2017University of BordeauxDanica Sugic gave an invited talk: 'Designing Knotted Optical Fields for Light-matter Interaction' at a Collaborative Visit to Professor Etienne Brasselet's Group
February-2017Helford UKElena Boniolo gave an invited talk: 'Model for the Diffusion of DNA Knots in a Gel', International Soft Matter Workshop
January-2017BristolInvited Speaker: Prof. Mikami Hirasawa (Nagoya Institute of Technology), 'Surfaces bounded by knotted circles and fibrations of knot complements'
November-2016BristolInvited Speaker: Hayder Salman (University of East Anglia), 'Threading Knotted and Tangled Filamentary Phase Defects in Complex Scalar Fields'
October-2016University of WarwickAlexander Taylor was invited by Gareth Alexander to give a talk: 'Geometry and Topology of Vorices in Ramdon Quantum Eigenfunctions' followed by a seminar with the Theoretical Physics Group at the Department of Physics

YEAR 2 - 2015-6

Details of events from Year 2 - 1 October 2015 to 30 September 2016

Year 2 - Conference Talks and Attendances

Date Name Details
September-2016Anthony YeatesTalk, 'The global distribution of magnetic helicity in the Sun's corona', Applied Mathematics Seminar, Glasgow University
September-2016Fabian MaucherInvited talk, 'Self-organisation of light in optical media with competing non-linearities', FANS and ANPh 2016, XVIII International Conference, Foundations & Advances in Non-linear Science, Minsk, Belarus
September-2016Fabian MaucherContributed talk, 'Untangling knots via reaction-diffusion dynamics of vortex strings', FANS and ANPh 2016, XVIII International Conference, Foundations & Advances in Non-linear Science, Minsk, Belarus
September-2016Anthony YeatesInvited talk, 'The Global Distribution of Magnetic Helicity in the Solar Corona', ISSI International Team on Magnetic Helicity, Bern, Switzerland
September-2016Mark MillerInvited talk, 'Energy Landscapes of Knotted Clusters', Workshop on Knots and Links in Biological and Soft Matter Systems, International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Trieste, Italy.
September-2016Paul SutcliffeInvited talk, 'Phases of Kinky Holographic Nuclear Matter', Second Geometric Models of Nuclear Matter Conference, University of Kent, UK
September-2016David FosterInvited talk, 'Skyrmion Knots', Second Geometric Models of Nuclear Matter Conference, University of Kent, UK
September-2016Danica SugicContributed Talk, 'Designing tightly focused fields with optical vortex knots', International Workshop on Structured Light and Matter Concepts and Applications, Zanjan, Iran.
August-2016Alexander TaylorInvited talk, 'Geometry and topology of nodal tangle in random quantum eigenfunctions', Probabilistic methods in Spectral Geometry and PDE, Centre de Recherches Mathematiques, University of Montreal, Canada.
August-2016Simon HannaContributed Talk, 'Optical binding between knotted and chiral nanostructures' Optical Trapping and Optical Manipulation conference as part of SPIE Optics and Photonics, San Diego, USA.
July-2016Kate HornerInvited speaker and session chair,'Magnetic Shielding Study of Urea-Based Gelators', Gordon Research Seminar on Computational Chemistry, Barcelona, Spain
July-2016Alexander TaylorContributed Talk, 'Virtual Knotting in Protein Chains', Knots in Hellas Conference, Ancient Olympia, Greece
July-2016David FosterContributed Talk, 'Knotted Resonances', Knots in Hellas Conference, Ancient Olympia, Greece
July-2016Ben BodeContributed Talk, 'Knotted Fields and Real Algebraic Links', Knots in Hellas Conference, Ancient Olympia, Greece
July-2016Mark DennisTalk, 'Knotted Vortices in Light', Knots in Hellas Conference, Ancient Olympia, Greece
June-2016Anthony YeatesContributed talk, 'The global distribution of magnetic helicity in the Sun's corona', Center for Fusion Space and Astrophysics, UKMHD conference, University of Glasgow, UK.
June-2016David FosterContributed talk, 'Skyrmion Resonances', Solitons (non)Integrability Geometry (SIG V) in High Energy Physics and String Theory, Krakow, Poland.
May-2016Anthony YeatesInvited seminar, 'The global distribution of magnetic helicity in the Sun's corona', Center for Fusion Space and Astrophysics, University of Warwick, UK.
May-2016Danica SugicInvited talk, 'Small Vortex Optical Knots', Eastern Arc Conference in Topological Solitons and Quantum Fluids, Kent, UK
May-2016David FosterInvited talk,'Knotted Resonances', Eastern Arc Conference in Topological Solitons and Quantum Fluids, Kent, UK
April-2016Anthony YeatesInvited talk, 'The global distribution of magnetic helicity in the Sun's corona', IUTAM Symposium on Helicity Structures and Singularity in Fluid and Plasma Dynamics, Venice, Italy.
See IUTAM Symposium on Helicity Structures and Singularity in Fluid and Plasma Dynamics
March-2016Paul SutcliffeInvited talk, 'Topological Solitons', Topological Science Symposium, Tokyo, Japan.
See Keio Topological Science Project
March-2016Alexander TaylorInvited talk, 'Geometry and Topology of Vortices in Random Quantum Eigenfunctions', APS March Meeting, Baltimore, USA
February-2016Fabian MaucherInvited seminar, 'Some Aspects of Vortices in Light- and Matter Waves', Applied Maths Group, University of East Anglia, UK.
See Applied Maths Research Seminars
January-2016Mark DennisInvited talk, 'Optical Topology and Knotting: Controlled Interference, and Tangling in the Wild', Heraeus Seminar, Bad Honnef, Germany.
December-2015Lauren ScanlonInvited talk, 'Cultural Evolution of Material Knot Diversity', Knots in Washington XLI, USA.
December-2015Mark DennisInvited talk, 'Scaling of Random Vortex Knots in Wave Chaos', Materials Research Society (MRS), Fall Symposium on Topology in Materials Science, USA.
December-2015Elena BonioloContributed talk, 'Separating Knots in Biological Polymers', Materials Research Society (MRS), Fall Symposium on Topology in Materials Science, USA.
December-2015Keith AlexanderContributed talk, 'Proteins Analysed as Virtual Knots', Materials Research Society (MRS), Fall Symposium on Topology in Materials Science, USA.
September-2015Simon GardinerInvited talk, 'Mean-field and beyond-mean-field dynamics in single- and multi-component condensates', FINESS 2015 (Finite Temperature Non-equilibrium Superfluid Systems), Sopot, Poland.
See FINESS 2015

Year 2 - Posters Presented

Date Name Details
September-2016Danica Sugic'Engineering small knotted optical singularities in non-paraxial wavefields', International Workshop on Structured Light and Matter Concepts and Applications, Zanjan, Iran.
September-2016Keith Alexander'Proteins Analysed as Virtual Knots', ICTP Workshop on Knots and Links in Biological and Soft Matter Systems, Trieste, Italy.
September-2016Elena Boniolo'Separating Knots in Biological Polymers', ICTP Workshop on Knots and Links in Biological and Soft Matter Systems, Trieste, Italy.
July-2016Kate Horner'Magnetic Shielding Study of Urea-Based Gelators', ISTCP 2016 (International Society for Theoretical Chemical Physics) in Grand Forks, North Dakota, USA
February-2016Ben Bode'Constructing Knotted Fields', Winter Braids VI school, University of Lille, France.
April-2016Ben Bode'Physics, Art, Mathematics, Science: Hidden Connections', (Celebration of Professor Sir Michael Berry's 75th Birthday), Bristol, UK
April-2016Danica Sugic'Vortex Propagation Dynamics in Optical Knots', (Celebration of Professor Sir Michael Berry's 75th Birthday), Bristol, UK
April-2016Keith Alexander'Proteins Analysed as Virtual Knots', (Celebration of Professor Sir Michael Berry's 75th Birthday), Bristol, UK
February-2016Kate HornerSingle Figure Presentation, Winter School for Computational Chemistry - Virtual lectures and virtual posters
December-2015Kate Horner'Knotted Urea-Based Gels: Urea-Tape Formation', Macrocyclic & Supramolecular Chemistry Conference, MASC 2015, Durham, UK
December-2015Antonio CincottiMacrocyclic & Supramolecular Chemistry Conference, MASC 2015, Durham, UK

Year 2 - Outreach Activities

Date Name Details
Dec-2015Keith AlexanderPresentation at a sixth form outreach event
Dec-2015Keith Alexander
Mark Dennis
Bristo Science Café Lecture, 'Much ado about knotting' at Halo Café, Bristol
Dec-2015Keith Alexander
assisted by:
Danica Sugic,
Alex Houston and
Elena Boniolo
Presentation and demonstration of knots and vortices for secondary school students as part of the School of Physics Open Access event
May-2016Lauren ScanlonTwo day visit to the International Guild of Knot Tyers
Jul-2016Keith Alexander
Mark Dennis
Sutton Trust outreach session for A-level summer school students, with demonstrations of knots and vertices

Year 2 - Group Meetings

Date Room Theme Talk Information
23/05/2016 CM105ChemistryKate Horner - Research Update
09/05/2016 CM105MathsPaul Sutcliffe - Research Update
25/04/2016 CM105PhysicsBen Beswick - Research Update
17/03/2016CG83MathsAnthony Yeates - 'Identifying twisted magnetic sub-structure in the Sun's atmosphere'
03/03/2016 CG83MathsChris Prior / Paul Sutcliffe - Two short talks
18/02/2016 CG83Anthropology/MathsLauren Scanlon - Pilot Experiment
04/02/2016 CG83MathsDavid Evans - Research Update
21/01/2016 CG83All AreasGeneral update from all areas
04/12/2015 PCL056ChemistryChris Jones, 'Ropemaking by supramolecular self-assembly'
20/11/2015 PCL056MathsChris Prior, Research Update
06/11/2015 PCL056ChemistryJon Steed, 'Self-Assembled Fibrous Materials'
23/10/2015 PCL056PhysicsFabian Maucher - research update
01/10/2015 Video-ConferenceFull ProgrammeGeneral Informal Discussion across the Programme

Year 2 - Other Events

Date Name Details
Sep-2016Fabian MaucherInvited talk, Macro Mini-conference and JQC Symposium, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
May-2016Randall KamienProfessor Kamien, University of Pennsylvania, visited the SPOCK team in Bristol, during which he gave a talk entitled: 'Elasticity, Topology and Geometry: FC Frank's Legacy in the Field of Liquid Crystals' (Sir Charles Frank Memorial Lecture)
Apr-2016David FosterSouth East Maths-Physics Seminar, Cambridge, UK
Apr-2016Alexander Taylor
Ben Bode
Daniel Peralta-Sales, ICMAT (Institute of Mathematical Sciences), Madrid, Spain, Dr Taylor gave a talk on 'Geometry and Topology of Vortices in Random Quantum Eigenfunctions'
March-2016Ben BodeInvited 'speed talk, 'Knots and Singularities', British Mathematical Colloquium, Bristol, UK
March-2016Alexander TaylorInvited talk, 'Geometry and Topology of Vortices in Random Quantum Eigenfunctions', Irvine Lab, University of Chicago, USA
March-2016Alexander TaylorInvited talk, 'Geometry and Topology of Vortices in Random Quantum Eigenfunctions', ICMAT (Institute of Mathematical Sciences), Madrid, Spain
Nov-2015Full Project TeamDurham Bristol, SPOCK Mini-Conference, Bristol, UK

A joint seminer involving the Durham and Bristol team members was held in Bristol on 16 and 17 November 2015. All of the Brisotl and Durham PhD students and Research Associates, as well as four investigators, gave presentations of their work to the rest of the team. PhD posters were displayed publicly, encouraging discussion not only amongst the team, but also publicising the project more widely. The event was a valuable opportunity to record the progress made during the first year of the SPOCK project and for the whole team to talk about the next steps.

The schedule for the event is available here

YEAR 1 - 2014-5

Details of events from Year 1 - 1 October 2014 to 30 September 2015

Year 1 - Conference Talks

Date Name Details
Oct-2014Dave Foster'The Skyrme-Faddeev Model', Theory Group Seminar, University of Bristol, UK.
Nov-2014Mark DennisInaugural lecture 'Putting a spin on light: twisting, tangling and topology in waves', University of Bristol, UK.
Jan-2015Dave Foster'Scattering of Spinning Skyrmions', Topological Solitons Seminar, Durham University, UK.
Feb-2015Anthony Yeates'Redistribution of magnetic helicity by reconnection', Applied mathematics seminar, Newcastle University, UK.
Mar-2015Mark Dennis'Exploring the topology of light waves: knotted, linked & tangled optical vortices', Optics Theory Colloquium, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Erlangen, Germany.
May-2015Alexander Taylor'The importance of symmetries to physical knots', Theoretical Physics away day, University of Bristol, UK.
May-2015Anthony Yeates'Impact of magnetic topology on plasma dynamics', University of Sheffield, UK.
Jun-2015Ben Bode'Constructing Knotted Fields', Joint Über-Seminar, University of Würzburg, Germany.
Jun-2015Kate Horner'From Synthetic Dream to Mathematics: Studying Transition States of a Theoretical Chemist', Postgraduate Symposium, Durham, UK
Jul-2015Paul SutcliffeInvited talk, 'Hyperbolic Monopoles', Analysis, Geometry and String Theory Colloquium, Leibniz University, Hannover, Germany.
Mar-2015David Evans'Spiral Wave Organisation in the Belousov-Zhabotinsky Reaction', Hill Colleges, East Research Forum, Mini-conference, Durham, UK
Nov-2014Gert can der HeijdenBiomathematics research seminar, 'Knotted Ropes: Constrained elastic filaments in braids and on cylinders', presented in by Professor Gert van der Heijden from UCL, Durham, UK

Year 1 - Conferences Attended

Date Name Details
Nov-2014Jon SteedInvited talk, 'Supramolecular Gels: Orthogonal Self-Assembly far from Equilibrium', ACS Midwestern Regional Meeting, American Chemical Society, Columbia, MO, USA.
Nov-2014Anthony YeatesInvited talk, 'Redistribution of Magnetic Helicity by Reconnection', Mathematics Research Seminar, Northumbria University, UK.
Nov-2014Anthony YeatesInvited talk, 'Redistribution of Magnetic Helicity by Reconnection', NHD Seminar, University of Dundee, UK.
Feb-2015Paul SutcliffeInvited talk, 'Hyperbolic Monopoles', 4th Winter Workshop on Non-Perturbative Quantum Field Theory, University of Nice, France.
Feb-2015Jon SteedInvited talk, 'Crystallization and Gelation: Orthogonal Self-Assembly Far from Equilibrium', Supramolecular Chemistry in Water - COST D31 Meeting, Prague, Czech Republic.
Mar-2015Alexander TaylorContributed talk, 'Geometry and Topology of Tangled Vortices in Wave Chaos', American Physical Society (APS) Annual March Meeting, San Antonio, Texas, USA.
Apr-2015Dave FosterInvited talk, 'Scattering of Spinning Skyrmions', Solitons: Topology, Geometry, and Applications Conference, Thessaloniki, Greece.
May-2015Jamie TehraniInvited talk, 'Cultural traditions and population histories - how are they related?', Culture Conference 2015 - 'Origins and transmission of culture: An interdisciplinary approach', Birmingham, UK.
May-2015Ifan HughesInvited talk, 'Absolute absorption and dispersion in dense alkali-metal thermal vapours', 47th Conference of the European Group on Atomic Systems, Riga, Latvia.
Jun-2015Dave FosterInvited talk, 'Scattering of Nucleons in the Classical Skyrme Model', 1st Eastern Arc Conference on Topological Solitons and Quantum Fluids, University of East Anglia, UK.
Jun-2015Andrew LobbInvited talk, 'Homotopy Types and Quantum Knot Cohomologies', AMS-EMS-SPM International Meeting 2015, Porto, Portugal.
Jul-2015Mark DennisInvited talk, 'Scaling of Vortex Knots in Random 3D Eigenfunctions', Nottingham-Nice Days of Waves, Nottingham, UK.
Jul-2015Jon SteedInvited talk, 'Sliding Down the Supersaturation Gradient: Crystals, Gels, Drugs and Blue Ketchup', USIC, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK
Aug-2015Mark DennisInvited talk, 'Engineering Knotted Optical Vortices for Interaction with Structured Matter', META-15, the 6th International Conference on Metamaterials, Photonic Crystals and Plasmonics, New York, USA.
Aug-2015Jon SteedInvited talk, 'Crystallization and Gelation: Orthogonal Self-assembly far from Equilibrium', The 29th European Crystallographic Meeting, Rovinj, Croatia.
Aug-2015Simon GardinerInvited talk, 'Fictional Classical Dynamics far from Classicality', CCPQ Workshop: Dynamics of Complex Quantum Systems, Windsor, UK.
Aug-2015Fabian MaucherInvited talk, 'Self-Organisation in Optical Media with Competing Nonlinearities', 24th Annual International Laser Physics Workshop, Shanghai, China.
Sep-2015Mark DennisPlenary talk 'Scaling of Optical Vortex Knots in Random Modes', 12th International Conference on Correlation Optics, Chernivtsi, Ukraine.
Sep-2015Danica SugicContributed talk 'Engineering Short Optical Vortex Knots by Vortex Propagation Dynamics', 12th International Conference on Correlation Optics, Chernivtsi, Ukraine.
Sep-2015Dave FosterInvited talk 'Scattering of Spinning Skyrmions', Skyrme 2015, Lanzhou, China.
Sep-2015Alexander TaylorContributed talk 'Geometry and Topology of Vortices in Random Quantum Wavefunctions', Geometry and Physics of Spatial Random Systems Conference, Bad Herrenalb, Germany.
Sep-2015Jon SteedInvited talk, 'Crystallization and Gelation: Orthogonal Self-Assembly Far from Equilibrium', ICSU Workshop on Crystal Engineering, Como, Italy.
Sep-2015Kate HornerInvited talk, 'Knotted Urea-Based Gels: Atomistic and Coarse-Grained Simulations of Urea-Tape Formation', 10th European Conference on Computational Chemistry, Fulda, Germany.
Sep-2015Kate HornerInvited talk, 'Knotted Urea-Based Gels: Urea-Tape Formation', 51st Symposium on Theoretical Chemistry - 'Chemistry in Motion', Potsdam, Germany.
Sep-2015Ifan HughesInvited talk, 'Quantum Optics in Dense Alkali-metal Thermal Vapours', QuAMP, The International Conference on Quantum, Atomic, Molecular and Plasma Physics, University of Sussex, UK.
Sep-2015Anthony YeatesInvited talk, 'Impact of Magnetic Topology on Plasma Dynamics', Dynamics Days Europe 2015, University of Exeter, UK.

Year 1 - Posters Presented

Date Name Details
Dec-2014Antonio Cincotti'Knotting in Peptides and Gels', MASC 2014, RSC Macrocylic & Supramolecular Chemistry Meeting, Norwich, UK.
Mar-2015Kate Horner'SPOCK - Moebius Systems, Knots and Gels', 5th Chemical Nanoscience Symposium, Newcastle University, UK.
Mar-2015Antonio Cincotti'Knots in Self-assembled Peptides and Oscillating Chemical Reactions', 5th Chemical Nanoscience Symposium, Newcastle University, UK.
May-2015Lauren ScanlonCultural Evolution of Material Knot Diversity, Culture Conference 2015, Birmingham UK. Won the best poster prize.
Aug-2015Ben Beswick'Epsilon-pseudoclassics', CCPQ Workshop: Dynamics of Complex Quantum Systems, Windsor, UK.
Sep-2015Dave Foster'Knots in the Skyrme-Faddeev model', Shape Up 2015 (Australasian Colloid and Interface Society), Berlin, Germany.
Sep-2015Keith Alexander'Proteins Analysed as Virtual Knots', Shape Up 2015 (Australasian Colloid and Interface Society), Berlin, Germany.
Sep-2015Ben Bode 'Constructing Knotted Fields', Shape Up 2015 (Australasian Colloid and Interface Society), Berlin, Germany.
Sep-2015Ben Beswick'Epsilon-pseudoclassics', Quantum Matter Out of Equilibrium, Granada, Spain.
Sep-2015Elena Boniolo'Separating Knots in Biological Polymers', GPSRS 2015, Germany.
Sep-2015Alexander Houston'Vortices in Random Aharonov-Bohm Wavefunctions', GPSRS, Germany.

Year 1 - Outreach Activities

Date Name Details
Feb-2015Mark MillerPublic Lecture, 'Knots', Café Scientifique, Durham, UK.
Feb-2015David EvansPublic Lecture, 'Fun with Lasers, Chemicals and Spirals', Ushaw College, Durham, UK.
Feb-Jul-2015Mark Dennis
Keith Alexander
Elena Boniolo
Alexander Houston
Knots in Science', workshop for schoolchildren visiting Bristol under widening-participation schemes.
Mar-2015Kate Horner
David Evans
Lauren Scanlon
'Knots Workshop' for schoolchildren at the Annual Durham University Schools' Science Festival.
Mar-2015Kate Horner
Lauren Scanlon
Practical session for schoolgirls on Knot Theory (entitled: What do Mathematicians and Cows have in Common?). Part of the Durham University Girls 'n Maths outreach programme.
Summer-2015Mark Dennis
Ben Bode
Supervision of a research intern from a Bristol school as part of the Nuffield summer placements scheme.
Sep-2015Mark Dennis
Keith Alexander
Invited talk 'Knots in Physics', Orkney International Science Festival.

Year 1 - Group Meetings

Date Room Theme Talk Information
10/06/2015 W309PhysicsBen Beswick - Research Update
27/05/2015 W309MathematicsDavid Evans- Update on practical initiation of knots in the BZ reaction
13/05/2015 W309ChemistryAntonio Cincotti - Research Update
29/04/2015 W309MathematicsAnthony Yeates - The Magnetic Borromean Rings
23/03/2015 CG116J (Chemistry) All Areas Research update from Kate and Antonio to Jon Steed's group
10/03/2015 W309 All Areas General update from all areas
03/03/2015 W309 Chemistry Kate Horner- Research Update
24/02/2015 W309 Physics/Chemistry Beth Bromley- Overview of protein work literature
17/02/2015 W309 Physics Fabian Maucher- Research update
10/02/2015 W309 Anthropology Lauren Scanlon- Results of her recent experiments
03/02/2015 W309 Physics Gordon Love- 'Creating Light Fields'
27/01/2015 W309 Chemistry Jon Steed- Gels & Ravels
20/01/2015 W309 Maths Paul Sutcliffe & David Evans-
A discussion of the background literature of the BZ reaction
13/01/2015 W309 All Areas Discussion of objectives for this term
05/12/2014 CLC407 Anthropology Lauren Scanlon
28/11/2014 CM107 Maths Chris Prior- Research Update (Braids)
David Evans- 'Slanty Cylinders of Darkness and Other Optical Setups'
21/11/2014 CM107 Physics Simon Gardiner- 'Bose-Einstein Condensates and the Gross-Pitaevskii Equation'
14/11/2014 CM107 Physics Ifan Hughes- 'Laser cooling, BEC and the GPE'
07/11/2014 CLC407 Anthropology Jamie Tehrani & Jeremy Kendal- 'The Cultural Evolution of Material Knot Diversity'
Lauren Scanlon- Research Update
31/10/2014 CM107 Chemistry Mark Miller- 'Global Optimisation of Knots'
24/10/2014 CM107 Chemistry Antonio Cincotti- 'Knots in Chemistry'
Kate Horner- 'Belousov-Zhabotinsky Reaction'
17/10/2014 CM107 Mathematics Paul Sutcliffe- 'Excitable Knots'
10/10/2014 CM107 All Areas Introductions of all members of SPOCK group

Year 1 - General News and Events

Here are some details of News and Events during the first year of the SPOCK Programme.

More Congratulations!! (May 2015)

Lauren Scanlon attended the Culture Conference 2015 entitled 'The Origins and Transmission of Culture: An interdisciplinary approach', on 28th May. She presented a poster on her research which combines maths and anthropology. This was her first ever poster competition and she did so well that she won! Congratulations, Lauren!

Congratulations!! (April-May 2015)

Congratulations to Sandy Taylor (Bristol), who passed his Viva in April, and Lauren Scanlon (Durham) who passed her Progression Interview in May.

Professor Enzo Orlandini visit to Bristol (April 2015)

Prof Enzo Orlandini (Padova, Italy) visited Bristol on 16-17 April. In addition to performing the role of external examiner for Sandy Taylor, he gave a talk entitled 'DNA packaging and ejection in viral capsids: hints from topology'. We hope this is the start of a valuable collaboration.

Bristol to visit Durham (November 2014)

The Bristol half of the SPOCK group visited Durham on 3rd and 4th December, 2014 for two days of lectures and seminars the variety of areas being researched at both sites.

Kick-off meeting held (October 2014)

The new positions have been filled and the SPOCK group has begun. To celebrate, a meeting was held between all new members of the group as well as many academics from across various fields, all of whom have an interest in knots. The meeting yielded a wealth of collaboration opportunities and got the project off to a great start.

£1.7m Leverhulme award for Bristol-Durham knot theory collaboration

The Leverhulme Trust has awarded one of its prestigious Research Programme Grants to a collaboration between the Universities of Durham and Bristol for SPOCK: Scientific Properties of Complex Knots.

The £1.7 million project, led by Professor Paul Sutcliffe (from Durham’s Department of Mathematical Sciences) and Professor Mark Dennis (from Bristol’s School of Physics), will involve researchers coming together from diverse and complementary disciplines in both universities, including Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biosciences, Anthropology, Computer Science and Philosophy.

The complexity of the three-dimensional space we live in is exemplified by the complexity of knots as studied mathematically, and many spatial systems across the sciences (including quantum-mechanical and optical wave fields, fluid flows, and tangled polymers and DNA molecules) have knot-like properties. The award will be used to investigate the nature of highly complex and tangled knots occurring in a variety of physical systems, and the interaction of these knots with their environment. This will drive development of new analytical, numerical and experimental techniques in a number of interdisciplinary sub-projects, where experimentalists, theorists, mathematicians and scholars from the humanities can work together to identify and solve problems in applied knot theory.

The Leverhulme Trust is one of the largest providers of all-subject research funding in the UK. For its Research Programme Grants competition, it invites bids against selected themes of research. The grants provide funds to research teams for up to five years to enable them to explore significant thematic issues. The scale of the awards (each one at a sum of up to £1.75 million) is set at a level where it is possible for a research team to study a significant theme in depth by conducting a group of interlinked research projects which taken together can lead to new understanding. The themes are selected not to exclude particular disciplines from the competition but rather to encourage research teams to look upon their established research interests from a set of refreshing viewpoints.

Culture Conference 2015, Birmingham - Knot Tying Exercise

Please see below the results of the knot tying exercise at Culture Conference 2015, Birmingham


knot 8_21
knot 8_21

The knot participants were asked to tie was a stopper knot, used generally at the end of a piece of rope to stop the rope unravelling, passing back through a hole or slipping through another knot. By joining up the ends, this knot can be characterised as knot 8_21 (seen here on KnotAtlas).

Participants were given the picture (shown left) and asked to tie the knot. They could have as much time and attempts as they wanted and did not have to submit a knot if they did not want to. Eight knots were produced as part of this experiment - more may have been attempted but given up! Of the eight knots tied, four were the correct knot, giving us a 50% success rate in this case! The other knots tied were; two cases of the knot 5_1 (see here) one case of the knot 5_2 (see here) one case of the knot 6_2 (see here)





knot 5_1
knot 5_1


The knot 5_1 may have been tied as shown. We can see the knot shown here has the same number of crossings as the target knot. However, if we follow the knot round from the upper right end, we see it crosses over three strands, then under two, whereas the corresponding strand on the correct knot crosses over three, under one, then over one. Other than that, the rest of the crossings look correct. The one observed crossing change allows the knot to be deformed through Reidemeister moves, leaving us with knot 5_1, a very different looking knot to 8_21.






knot 6_2
knot 6_2


The knot 6_2 may have been tied as shown. Again, we can see the knot shown here has the same number of crossings as the target knot. Following the knot from the upper right end, we get a pattern of over, over, under, over for the crossings, instead of the target over, over, over, under. Following further on the strand, we see it is on the inside of the finished knot, as opposed to the outside of the target knot, resulting in further incorrect crossings. These changes allow the knot to be deformed through Reidemeister moves, leaving us with knot 6_2. The knot 6_2 is closer in number of crossings to 8_21 than 5_1 is, but analysing the changes that resulted in both knots being tied shows us fewer mistakes led to 5_1 than 6_2, so 5_1 can be seen as being closer to the intended 8_21.





knot 5_2
knot 5_2


The knot 5_2 may have been tied as shown. The knot looks very different to the knot 8_21 and does not have the same amount of crossings as the target picture. It is likely that when tying this knot, the participant lost track of where on the target picture they were, loosing track of crossings and resulting in a knot quite far from the intended.









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