I thoroughly enjoyed giving the first Science Gang talk at my college yesterday. Speaking about my research is a lot of fun for me. My talk’s theme was friction, a topic that included not only my sabbatical research, but elements of friction existing between people and places. For example, political divisions are so wide these days. It seems as if some of the friction between people on different sides of the political spectrum could be alleviated by getting together and engaging in civil conversations. Instead so many of us have ensconced ourselves with people who agree with us, websites that share our opinions, and even online searches that filter based on our preferences. It wasn’t hard during our travels abroad to notice lots of different types of friction between people, both in today’s world and in the past.
Moving from friction between people to my friction research was a welcome transition. Many in my audience had not been exposed to much physics, so I kept the friction science light. The photo below shows me discussing some friction basics (click on the image for a larger view).
The room was a dark and a colleague was kind enough to grab a photo with a cell phone. I was happy to receive a photo. I got some great questions after I finished, giving me more to ponder. There is always more to learn!