The French Connection

  France – that concentrated core of fine food, culture and scientific heritage. What could lure the crème de la crème of young French scientists away from all that, to a tiny sheep-filled island hanging off the bottom of the planet? Well, whether it’s the Lord of the Rings landscape, the friendly natives or the research […]

Read More

Wonderful but complicated

  Theoretical physics has sometimes been described as akin to composing music – with the only difference that the talent of a composer is judged by the nature of the audience, whereas in theoretical physics, it’s the audience of nature that provides the judgment. It’s a description that fits John Lekner’s approach to his work […]

Read More

Looking at the Very Small

  How do you find out what the public thinks of a new technology that many of them have never heard of, let alone experienced? That was the dilemma facing social scientist Dr Andrew Cook when the MacDiarmid Institute commissioned him to explore the ethical and social issues likely to face nanotechnology. Nanotechnology, as a term, has […]

Read More

Super Science

  Imagine a modest-sized cruise ship visiting New Zealand a few summers from now. It’s elegant, sleek and gleaming. It’s also one of the world’s most powerful vessels, though if you were to get aboard and ask to look at the engine room you’d be disappointed. There isn’t one. That’s because the 50,000 horsepower engines […]

Read More

A Master of the Game

  Through a gap in the wall of a cobbled Cambridge street, a car-park away from the lab where Watson and Crick discovered the structure of DNA is the office of Lynn Gladden: modern pioneer, Professor of Chemical Engineering Science at the University of Cambridge and member of the MacDiarmid Institute’s International Board. In contrast to the […]

Read More

Spin Doctor

  If you’ve ever marvelled at the rapid pace of change and development in the world of computers, and wondered where some of these developments start, look no further than a lab in the basement of the MacDiarmid Institute at Victoria University of Wellington. Here, inside a chamber that creates a vacuum as near perfect […]

Read More

Achievements in 2005:

2005 has been an outstanding year for recently completed PhD student Shelley Scott. Not only was she a runner up in the MacDiarmid Young Scientists Awards, the winner of MacDiarmid Young Scientist of the Year for Materials and Manufacturing and appeared on the front cover of the August issue of North and South Magazine but she was also one […]

Read More

A Rich Few Weeks

  I’m working on my PhD in condensed matter at Victoria University on a MacDiarmid Institute funded scholarship under the supervision of Paul  Callaghan. In April of 2005 I swapped the shores of NZ, where people are relative newcomers, for the age-old city of Heraklion, the capital of the Greek island of Crete where people […]

Read More

Hands-on-Physics via the Web

  New Zealand physics teachers have a huge job on their hands  Most work alone in their schools, organizing laboratory sessions for their students, finding practical examples of physics phenomena, and trying to find an effective means of meeting NCEA requirements in the different physics subject categories.  Thanks to a MacDiarmid Institute-funded project, help is […]

Read More

Dr Antje Gottwald : 1973-2006

It is with great sadness that we note the untimely passing of one of our friends and colleagues, post-doctoral fellow, Antje Gottwald.  Antje, who grew up in Berlin, came to us from Dresden where she completed her PhD in polymer physics.  She worked with us in soft matter physics, most recently in a collaborative project […]

Read More

Standard-bearer for Science

Professor Paul Callaghan is the Director of the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology. In the New Year he was appointed as a Principal Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (PCNZM). Mike Bodnar spoke to him about the honour and the career that’s led to it… Paul Callaghan, 58, sits in his […]

Read More

Post-graduate Students Take the Spotlight

From developing new tools for medical imaging, to investigating innovative materials for use in solar cells, to studying the growth of the delicate spines of sea urchins, the postgraduate students at the MacDiarmid Institute are a fascinating and diverse bunch – and that is just their work. In their spare time, the group has hobbies as diverse as Bollywood dancing, […]

Read More