Atmospheric chemistry engages local community

29 November 2017

Children enjoying the spectroscopy display

Staff and students from the School of Chemistry at Cardiff University hosted a public event on “Monitoring 21st Century Atmospheres” at the National Museum Cardiff as part of Chemistry Week.

During the event, more than 1000 visitors were shown a variety of activities related to atmospheric chemistry, including simple ways to measure the atmosphere themselves using spectroscopy. Spectroscopy is the study of the way light (or electromagnetic radiation) interacts with matter.

Undergraduate and postgraduate chemistry students demonstrated hands-on chromatography and how smartphones can reveal elemental emission bands. Visitors were also able to see 3D computer simulations of gas-surface interactions, and a 3D video which took viewers on a journey of spectroscopy.

The event, which was sponsored by the Royal Society of Chemistry, was organised and developed by School of Chemistry researchers Dr Joseph Beames and Dr Emma Richards, in partnership with Dr Dayna Mason (RSC Education Coordinator, Cardiff University) and Dr Jana Horak (Head of Mineralogy & Petrology, National Museum Cardiff).

Chemistry Week is an annual celebration of the chemical sciences initiated by the Royal Society of Chemistry. It aims to give an opportunity for chemical scientists to share their passion and demonstrate how chemistry is relevant and present in everyday life to people within the local community.