Thursday, 12 August 2010

A Big Breakthrough

Here's something you rarely get to see - a genuine scientific breakthrough.

This is the moment Ed Lester and his team attempt to generate nanoparticles at an industrial scale (they'd already succeeded with smaller versions of the kit).

Everything was set up and they waited at the outlet pipe to see if their hard work had paid off.

A red solution would be a sign of success.

It's rare to see moments like this - whether triumphant or disappointing - because scientists and engineers often prefer to work behind closed doors.

I understand their reasons, but unfortunately that means countless magic moments like the one above are rarely captured for posterity.

Instead we're left only with important but comparatively dry research papers.

I appreciate Ed and the team letting me in to film the moment - whether it was a success (which it was) or set-back!

Back to the science itself, Ed and the team are creating nanoparticles using a unique method.

It involves the use of so-called supercritical water - water at extremely high temperature and pressure - which cannot be considered either a liquid or a gas!

There's an explanation of the process in the video below.

Ed's spin-out company is called Promethean Particles and hopefully we'll see more videos with them soon as they attempt to turn their lab success into a financial windfall.

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