Achievements of Aberystwyth Distinguished Physics Professor celebrated at University College London

23 May 2016

‌Aberystwyth Physics Professor Neville Greaves held his 70th birthday last month at University College London where he has an Honorary Professorship. Professors from the US, China, Japan, France and Germany joined forces with those from Cambridge, London, Cardiff, Canterbury and Aberystwyth in a Symposium on the ‘Science of Disordered Materials’.

Introducing the occasion Professor Richard Catlow FRS said “It was Neville who pioneered the Physics of X-rays at the world’s first dedicated synchrotron radiation source. Mysteries of the structure of glass and ceramics, the operation of catalysts, the improvement of battery materials, understanding the geology of the Earth’s Crust, advancing heritage projects like the Mary Rose, are just a few of the complex problems that have been solved using these techniques and continue to be successfully challenged with new X-ray and neutron machines in the 21st century.

We owe him a great debt in what he did then, and what he has continued to do, always bringing the element of surprise.”  In his closing remarks, thanking the speakers and audience alike, Neville Greaves emphasised how “Disorder underpins the functionality of all materials and processes. If everything material was ordered like a perfect crystal, nothing would really work. To penetrate the physics, chemistry and biology of real systems we need, not just to experiment with light and particle beams, but also to anticipate and refine our knowledge with high performance computer simulation, starting at the atomic level.” Speakers enjoyed the symposium dinner in the evening which was held at the Athenaeum Club on Pall Mall. Later this the summer a special issue of the International Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids will be devoted to the theme of the symposium. It is being edited by Professor Wim Bras from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee.

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