Public Outreach
Meetings and Events

Please see details of recent SPOCK events. Please see our archive page for details of previous activities

Date Name Details
September-2017Ben BeswickPoster: "An ε\epsilon-Pseudoclassical Model for Quantum Resonances in a Periodically Laser-Driven Dilute Atomic-Gas" at QUAMP, Glasgow
August-2017Paul SutcliffePublic Lecture: "Tying Tornadoes in Knots" at the Young Researchers in Mathematics 2017 Meeting at the University of Kent
July-2017Paul SutcliffeInvited Talk: "Skyrmion knots in frustrated magnets" at Topological Solitons, Nonperturbative Gauge Dynamics and Confinement, Conference at the Department of Physics, University of Pisa, Italy
July-2017Fabian MaucherContributed Talk: "Self-Organisation of Light in Optical Media with Competing Nonlocal Nonlinearities", at the EGAS Conference, Durham University
July-2017Ifan HughesPoster: "Quantitative modeling of coherent atom-light interactions in 2, 3 and 4-level systems in the hyperfine Paschen-Back(HPB)regime" at the EGAS Conference, Durham University
July-2017Ben BeswickTalk: "Modeling atom interferometers using ε\epsilon-Pseudoclassics" at the Northern Quantum Meeting, Manchester
July-2017Ben BeswickPoster: "An ε\epsilon-Pseudoclassical Model for Quantum Resonances in a Periodically Laser-Driven Dilute Atomic-Gas" at EGAS Conference, Durham University
June-2017Jon SteedTalk: "Solid form control using supramolecular gels", Bologna Crystal Forms (CF@BO 2017), Bologna, Italy
June-2017Jeremy KendalTalk: "Non-random error in the cultural transmission of knot tying" at: Social Learning and Cultural Evolution Workshop, Keele University
May-2017Fabian MaucherInvited Contributed Talk: "Excitable Knots" at 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.
April-2017Paul SutcliffePaul Sutcliffe gave the opening talk on "Knots and Vortices" at the Workshop on Solitons: Integrability, Duality and Applications, held at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Sao Paulo, Brazil
April-2017Jon SteedInvited talk, "Gel-Based Approaches to Novel Solid Forms" at the 23rd International Conference on the Chemistry of the Organic Solid State, (ICCOSS-XXIII), Stellenbosch, South Africa
April-2017Scanlon, L.,
Kendal, J.,
Tehrani, J.,
Lobb, A.
Invited talk, "The cultural evolution of knot tying: an analysis of the cultural transmission of granny and reef knots" at European Human Behaviour and Evolution Association (EHBEA) 2017, Paris, France

Abstract: Knot tying is a universal and ancient technology, therefore it is important to understand the learning biases that affect the cultural transmission of this simple technology in an aim to understand the evolution of technology in general. We present a mathematical model of the oblique transmission of the reef and the granny knot, which are two of the simplest knots, exploring the effect that given learning biases have on the successful reproduction of these knots. In conjunction with this model, we also present experimental data which tests the cultural transmission fidelity of tying both reef and granny knots. Using these data we evaluate the model using Approximate Bayesian Computation to generate probability distributions for the learning biases affecting the cultural transmission of knot tying, and explaining the prevalence of granny knots over reef knots. Our results show that knot transmission is affected by biases which cause a predisposition to tie a specific knot and to misinterpret the knot transmitted. Our data show that although there was a large tendency to accurately imitate the knot transmitted, the learning biases greatly affect the fidelity of transmission. This suggests that any biases in learning can affect the fidelity of transmission of technology, even if the technology is largely accurately transmitted, which may cause a great effect through cumulative cultural evolution, altering that technology.
March-2017Ifan HughesVisit to the Engineering Department at Cambridge University
March-2017Dave Foster and Alexander TaylorBristol group visit to Durham to provide an update on current work
March-2017Dr Hayder Salman, University of East AngliaThreading Knotted and Tangled Filamentary Phase Defects in Complex Scalar Fields Experimental advances that have been made in recent years have made it increasingly possible to create matter wave fields in atomic Bose-Einstein condensates containing knotted or linked filamentary phase defects. These defects correspond to topological excitations in the form of quantized superfluid vortices. Knotted vortices have already been created and studied under controlled conditions in classical fluids. However, in these cases, vorticity acts to erode the vortical core of the vortices. An advantage of quantized superfluid vortices is that the vorticity remains concentrated along filaments throughout the dynamics. Nevertheless, quantum effects allow reconnections to occur that can change the topology of the fluid. This makes matter wave (as well as optical) fields an ideal setting in which to quantify helicity for topologically non-trivial vortex configurations. Although an excellent microscopic model exists to study the dynamics of such defects in superfluids, several challenges exist in generating an initial wavefunction containing knotted configurations. In this talk, I will show, using methods from differential geometry, how one can imprint any desired vortex configuration into the wavefunction. Using the imprinted fields, we perform numerical simulations of several knotted defects to illustrate their dynamical behaviour. I will also discuss the role of helicity for superfluid vortices.
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"
January-2017Jon SteedDistinguished Lecturer at the Hong Kong Baptist University
October-2016Fabian MaucherInvited keynote talk, "Nonlocal Nonlinear Optics" at 1st International Conference on Optics, Photonics and Materials, Nice, France

Durham Group Meetings

Previous meetings for the current academic year are listed below. Please see our archive page for details of meetings in Durham prior to this

Date Room Theme Talk Information
23/11/2016CG60PhysicsFabian Maucher - Research Update

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