International Year of Chemistry, 2011

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International Year of Chemistry 2011

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Complex Molecules in Space and can we make beer out of them?

Activity by Shane Hengst   |   added on Jun 29, 2011   |   Australia Official_iyc_logo


Andrew Walsh brings together his research in astrochemistry and his love of beer to try and answer the question: Can we make beer in space?


UNSW Astronomy Outreach *Special Presentation* - Can we make beer from space molecules?

For millenia, people have gazed at the stars and wondered what place there is for humans in the universe? It is only in modern times that we have come to understand that the universe is filled with many galaxies, stars and planets, some not unlike our own. The universe itself had its own beginnings. At the start, only simple atoms existed. But soon the first stars processed these simple atoms into complex atoms. Since then, cutting-edge astronomical research reveals space now contains not just complex atoms but also many complex molecules.

It is perhaps not coincidental that people have imbibed in beer for millenia as well. Many collective centuries must have been spent trying to understand our place under the stars whilst under the influence. Now that we stand on the verge of space exploration, not with our minds, but with our bodies, it is time to bring together our best understanding of interstellar chemistry and our love of beer to ask the question: Can we make beer out of the complex molecules in space?

Andrew Walsh is the director of the Centre of Astronomy at James Cook University.

   Date: Friday 22nd July, 2011 (Note: 4th Friday of July)
   Venue: Physics Theatre, Old Main Building, Sydney, University of New South Wales
   Time: 6:30 pm (Refreshments served from 6 pm)

This event is suitable for bright tweens and above.


Topic: celebrating chemistry Audience: students, general public, secondary schools, graduate students, secondary schools students
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