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James Clerk Maxwell's Contribution to Renewables

  • pin Maclaren Stuart Room G.158 Old College, South Bridge, Edinburgh (map)

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You are invited to "James Clerk Maxwell: his contribution to Scotland’s all-renewable electricity target" with Keith Barnham, Emeritus Professor of Physics at Imperial College London.

6pm for 6.30-8.30pm Tuesday 5 March 2019 at MacLaren Stuart Room (G.158) Old College, South Bridge, Edinburgh EH8 9YL.

Background: Scotland - aiming to generate as much power from renewable sources as it will use in 2020 - is at the forefront of renewable energy; but not many are aware that the first step in the solar revolution was taken by Scottish theoretical physicist James Clerk Maxwell. He discovered the nature of sunlight as an electromagnetic wave form.

Keith will set out the scientific importance of Maxwell’s discovery and describe how it has been vital to both the communications and the solar revolutions. He will show how Maxwell’s ideas are particularly important for Solar PhotoVoltaic (PV) panels which will play a crucial role in Scotland’s progress towards an all-renewable electricity supply.

Keith will share his views on the Solar Revolution and the part it can play in a Carbon Neutral Scotland.
Speaker bio: Keith Barnham contributes to the University of Edinburgh's MSc in Carbon Management. He started his research career in particle physics at the University of Birmingham, CERN and the University of California, Berkeley. Mid-career, at Imperial College London, he switched to researching solar cells after spending a year at Philips Research Laboratories in Redhill.

Keith's Quantum Photovoltaic group at Imperial developed a novel concentrator solar cell using nano-structured quantum well technology. In commercial production this achieved three times the efficiency of today’s panels. He is author of The Burning Answer: a User’s Guide to the Solar Revolution, (Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 2015).