Diamond is hosting a film night as part of the Oxfordshire Science Festival on Sunday 26th June at the Phoenix cinema in Jericho, Oxford from 6-8pm. On this evening Diamond will be premiering the film they have produced, ‘Science’s Lost Hero’
highlighting the astonishing work of the young Oxfordshire born scientist Henry Moseley.
Oxfordshire-based Diamond is a silver ring-shaped science facility that can be compared to a giant super microscope, allowing scientists to study the workings of life and materials on a scale that can not be seen with a standard microscope, revealing where individual atoms and molecules are within structures. It does this by speeding up electrons to near light speeds to produce a light 10 billion times brighter than the sun. The level of detail Diamond provides allows scientists to design everything from advanced medical drugs to novel smart materials, and cleaner energy solutions.
Henry Moseley is regarded as one of the world’s most important young scientific heroes. At the age of 26 he solved one of chemistry’s greatest conundrums, determining what distinguishes elements from one another and developing a means of identifying elements based on their atomic characteristics. Moseley’s work revolutionised chemistry and spawned a vital and widely-used technique: spectroscopy. Scientists now had a way of identifying any element based on the wavelengths it emitted when exposed to X-rays. This technique continues to thrive today, and is used at synchrotrons like Diamond to study everything from dinosaur bones to cancer treatments. However Moseley’s story is a tragic one. He lost his life during fighting at Gallipoli in World War One; he was just 27. But despite his short career, Moseley left behind a rich legacy of scientific accomplishment and laid the ground for the evolution of modern chemistry.
© Museum of the History of Science, University of Oxford
Following the screening, a panel of scientists will be available to answer questions about spectroscopy experiments that are done at Diamond today, over 100 years after Moseley did his pioneering research. The panel will include; Professor Trevor Rayment – Head of physical sciences at Diamond, Stephen Johnston – Assistant Keeper at the Oxford History of Science museum and David Pyle – Diamond user who studies volcanoes using spectroscopy.