IoP Lunch Seminar (series) - The Christmas Edition


14Dec2016 11:30 - 12:30


This month it's time for our special Christmas edition! Daniel Bonn will talk about skating, Marcel Vonk will talk about poker playing and Tom Hijmans will talk about piano tuning! So come and enjoy a slice of pizza and find out what your fellow colleagues have been up to both in and outside the workplace.

Marcel Vonk (Staff Member - String Theory/ Outreach IoP) - Who's better at poker - a physicist or a psychologist?

In 2004, while I was a postdoc in Uppsala, Sweden, I got introduced to the game of poker. I was originally hesitant about "gambling", but soon discovered that tournament poker is much more than a game of chance, and that it has a surprisingly rich mathematical background. One thing led to another, and in 2010 I became the first Dutch player to win a No Limit Hold'em title at the annual World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. In this talk, I will explain why poker is such an interesting and beautiful game, and what my (probably unsurprising) answer to the question in the title is.

Tom Hijmans (Staff Member - Student Labs) - The thermodynamics of piano tuning. Are piano tuners Maxwell's demons?

The second law of thermodynamics tell us that an ice cube left on a hot plate will always heat up. The spontaneous flow of heat is never directed from the cold object to the hot one. Likewise, a perfectly tuned piano will, in time, always evolve to a state of increasing detuning. Honky-tonk piano's never spontaneously change into perfectly tuned specimens. This suggests an analogy with thermodynamics. We will explore this analogy. Can we construct an entropy functional which assumes a minimum value when the instrument is optimally tuned?

Daniel Bonn (Staff Member - Soft Matter Group) - The Physics of Ice-Skating

Abstract TBA

Published by  IOP