News & Publications
Lecture at St. John's on Faraday's "Intuitive" Calculus
FOR RELEASE: April 3, 2009
CONTACT: Patricia Dempsey 410-626-2539
The next Friday night lecture at St. John's College will be given by Ryan Tweney, emeritus professor of psychology at Bowling Green State University. Tweney will talk on "From Invisibles to Infinitesimals: Faraday's Intuitive Calculus." The lecture, which will be held in the Francis Scott Key Auditorium on Friday, April 10, at 8:15 p.m., is free and open to the public.
Michael Faraday (1791-1867) was an English chemist and physicist who contributed to the study of electromagnetism. "Throughout his career, Faraday pursued the scientific status of 'invisible' entities such as lines of force. In 1856, Faraday spent most of the year in research on the color of gold metal," says Tweney. "Gold has unusual optical properties that had long interested Faraday. It appears yellow-gold by reflected light, but thin films of gold are green and sometimes other colors. What causes this unusual behavior? Is it a clue to the nature of light and its interaction with matter?" Tweney will explore these questions in his lecture and describe a "'detective story'"in which Faraday's actual gold specimens are discovered, and his procedures then recreated."
Tweney began his education in psychology at the University of Chicago and then moved on to Wayne State University, where he specialized in cognitive-experimental psychology, with an emphasis on psycholinguistics.