November 8 - What can you learn from phase transitions?
Students Kyle Bussis, Evan Jensen, and Professor P. Harper, Calvin College
Phase transitions are a common feature of life, from a boiling teakettle to the upcoming liquid-solid transition that will soon be occurring outdoors. Phase transitions are important in areas ranging from biology to electronics, with phase transition kinetics playing a central role in novel devices such as memristors. We’ll consider how to examine phase transitions with microscopy and DSC (differential scanning calorimetry). In turn, we’ll see how phase transition kinetics can be used to shed light on the geometry of phase transitions and how the effect of additives, such as sugar, can be used to probe interactions between biomolecules.