Nieuws - 8 maart 2012

Small is chaotic: this year's Founders' Day theme

Next Friday the university celebrates its 94th birthday. The theme of this year's celebration is the inspiration and success factors required for good science. Guest speaker Bertil Andersson dropped out, but did send a video message.

This year's Founders' Day lecture will be delivered by professor of Physical Chemistry and Colloid Science, Martien Cohen Stuart. ‘An honour', in his own words. He says it's exciting to talk about his field to an audience of the uninitiated. ‘I am curious how it will go down and what feedback I will get.'
The professor wants to introduce his audience next Friday to a very small-scale world. A world which is not governed by the order of our macroscopic world, but by nothing but chaos. Molecules do not move predictably, but dance around at random: Brownian motion. But with the help of probability calculations we can say something about this world. Cohen Stuart's field is not the only one where this chaos is found. It can be seen in ecosystems too, as well as in a lot of human behaviour.
The Founders' Day programme begins at around one thirty with a symposium about the education of PhD students. The actual ceremony lasts from four till six. Apart from Cohen Stuart, rector magnificus Martin Kropff and professor Dolf Weijers will also be speaking. The ceremony will end with the awarding of the annual WUF Research Prize.