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RNZ Nights' Materials: Fact or Fiction

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RNZ Nights' Materials: Fact or Fiction

13 March, 2020

'Materials: Fact or Fiction' is a new series on RNZ Nights in collaboration with the MacDiarmid Institute where an idea is taken from fiction to see how it stands up to scientific scrutiny.

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Materials: Fact or Fiction - Magic Carpets

Associate Investigator, Dr Taniela Lolohea is a Lecturer in Chemistry at Auckland University of Technology (AUT) takes a look at the science behind magic flying carpets.MFF social media bottom of webpage 15

November 26, 2021

Materials: Fact or Fiction - Pheromones in Black Widow

PhD Candidate, Anindita Sen from the Victoria University of Wellington looks at Pheromones from the new Black Widow movie.MFF social media bottom of webpage 14

October 29, 2021

Materials: Fact or Fiction - Hypermatter

PhD student, Aleksandra Ilina from Victoria University of Wellington is back with more Star Wars to give us her scientific take on Hypermatter. MFF social media bottom of webpage 7 v2

October 15, 2021

Materials: Fact or Fiction - MacGyver's Laser

Dr Karen Thorn is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Victoria University of Wellington, supervised by Professor Justin Hodgkiss, working in the Ultrafast Laser Spectroscopy Group. This week she gives us her scientific take on the MacGyver episode where he makes a laser.MFF social media bottom of webpage 13

September 30, 2021

Materials: Fact or Fiction - Relux and Lux Metal

Aran Warren, University of Canterbury PhD student working with MacDiarmid Institute Emeritus Investigator, Professor Maan Alkaisi - speaks to Bryan about the potential for Lux Metal and Relux - a solid material made out of light, as imagined by the Sci Fi writer John W Campbell back in the 1930s - to occur in the real world.
MFF social media bottom of webpage 12

September 17, 2021

Materials: Fact or Fiction - Corrodium

Bill Jia is a PhD Student from the University of Auckland's school of chemical sciences. He gave his scientific take on Corrodium from the cartoon Ben10. MFF social media bottom of webpage 11

September 3, 2021

Materials: Fact or Fiction - Proton Packs from Ghostbusters

Emily Kendall is a PhD Student from the University of Auckland's Department of Physics. Emily gives us her scientific take on the Proton Pack from Ghostbusters.MFF social media bottom of webpage 9

August 19, 2021

Materials: Fact or Fiction - Liquid Metal from Terminator

MacDiarmid Principal Investigator and Professor of Chemistry at the University of Auckland, Duncan McGillivray give his scientific take on reconfigurable materials - Liquid Metal from the Terminator franchise.MFF social media bottom of webpage 8

August 6, 2021

Head of the Department of Physics, Associate Professor Jan Eldridge, from the University of Auckland, gives us her scientific take on  the Star Trek mind swap episode - Turnabout Intruder. JJ Eldridge min v2

July 22, 2021

Materials: Fact or Fiction - The Death Star

Aleksandra Ilina is a PhD Student from the Victoria University of Wellington, supervised by Professor Justin Hodgkiss. Aleksandra gives us her scientific take on the Death Star from the Star Wars franchise.MFF social media bottom of webpage 7

June 25, 2021

Materials: Fact or Fiction - Ironman’s Suit

MacDiarmid Institute Associate Investigator, Associate Professor Catherine Whitby,  is a Chemist at Massey University. On this week's episode, she gives us her scientific take on Ironman’s Suit from the Marvel series.

MFF social media bottom of webpage 6

June 11, 2021

Materials: Fact or Fiction - Philote

Dr Krista Steenbergen is a Physics Lecturer in the School of Chemical and Physical Sciences at Victoria University of Wellington and MacDiarmid Institute Associate Investigator gives us her scientific take on Philote from Enders Game.MFF social media bottom of webpage 5

May 27, 2021

Materials: Fact of Fiction - The Force

Geoffrey Weal, PhD student at the University of Otago in the lab of MacDiarmid Institute Associate Investigator, Dr Anna Garden gives us his scientific take on The Force From Star Wars.MFF social media bottom of webpage 4

May 14, 2021

Materials: Fact or Fiction - Turbinium

Samuel Martín Treceño, Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Canterbury, working in the lab of MacDiarmid Institute researcher Associate Professor Aaron Marshall gives us his scientific take on Total Recall's Turbinium, a fictional material that's mined from Mars and terraforms the planet at the end of the film.MFF social media bottom of webpage 3

April 29, 2021

Materials Fact or Fiction: Back to the Future

Dr Rodrigo Martinez Gazoni, Rutherford Postdoctoral fellow at the University of Canterbury, gives us his scientific take on the Back to The Future movie franchise.Website v8

April 15, 2021

Materials: Fact or Fiction - Shipstone (Part 2)

Last week Dr Chris Bumby, Principal Scientist at Victoria University of Wellington's Robinson Research Institute and Principal Investigator at the MacDiarmid Institute, gave us his scientific take on Shipstone from the novel 'Friday' by Robert Heinlein. In the second half of that discussion, Bryan asks Chris, how much power might we be able to store in a battery?MFF social media bottom of webpage 2 v3

April 8, 2021

Materials: Fact or Fiction - Shipstone

Dr. Chris Bumby, Principal Scientist at Victoria University of Wellington's Robinson Research Institute and Principal Investigator at the MacDiarmid Institute, gives us his scientific take on Shipstone from the novel 'Friday' by Robert Heinlein.MFF social media bottom of webpage 2 v2

April 1, 2021

Materials: Fact or Fiction - Rumplestiltskin

Principal Investigator and Professor of Chemistry at the University of Auckland, Duncan McGillivray tries to work out how Rumpelstiltskin made straw into gold. MFF social media bottom of webpage

March 19, 2021

Materials: Fact or Fiction - The Stillsuit

Associate Professor Geoff Willmott, MacDiarmid Institute Deputy Director for Commercialisation and Industry Engagement, and Associate Professor of Physics at the University of Auckland gives us his scientific take on the stillsuit from Dune, the water-saving suit that recycled sweat and other fluids.
Website v6

March 5, 2021

Materials: Fact or Fiction - Tenet

Professor Bill Williams, MacDiarmid Institute Principal Investigator, explains the science behind time travel and entropy in Christopher Nolan's latest blockbuster film Tenet.

bill twitter

February 4, 2021

Materials Fact or Fiction - Kryptonite

Professor Bill Williams, MacDiarmid Institute Principal Investigator and Professor in biophysics and soft matter at Massey University, gives us his scientific take on Superman's Kryptonite, the green crystalline material that emits radiation and weakens Superman.
Website 3 v2

December 10, 2020

Materials: Fact or Fiction - Mandalorian Iron

Dr Catherine Whitby, MacDiarmid Institute Associate Investigator and Senior Chemistry Lecturer at Massey University, gives us her scientific take on the Star Wars material Mandalorian iron, and its equivalent in this galaxy, Kevler. 

Website 2

November 26, 2020

Materials: Fact of Fiction - The Philosopher's Stone

Dr Erin Leitao, Associate Investigator at the MacDiarmid Institute and Senior Lecturer in Chemistry at the University of Auckland gives us her scientific take on The Philosopher's Stone from Harry Potter.Website 1

November 12, 2020

Materials Fact or Fiction - The Black Hole in Interstellar

Richard Easther, theoretical cosmologist and Professor of Physics (Head of Department) at the University of Auckland gives us his scientific take on the Black Hole from the movie Interstellar.

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October 29, 2020

Materials Fact or Fiction - Octiron

Another in our Materials: Fact of Fiction series with RNZ Nights, Kate Andrew, a PhD student at Massey University, gives us her scientific take on Octiron from Terry Pratchett's Discworld series.

 Website v4

October 16, 2020

Materials: Fact or Fiction - Baakonite

Associate Professor Duncan McGillivray, Principal Investigator at the MacDiarmid Institute and Associate Professor in Chemical Sciences at the University of Auckland gives us his scientific take on Baakonite from Star Trek. Website

October 2, 2020

Materials: Fact or Fiction - The Invisibility Cloak

Another in our Materials: Fact of Fiction series with RNZ Nights, Dr Colm Healy, a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Canterbury, gives us his scientific take on the Invisibility Cloak from Harry Potter.

Materials  Fact or Fiction

September 18, 2020

Materials: Fact or Fiction - Vibranium

MacDiarmid Institute Associate Investigator and Physics Lecturer at Victoria University of Wellington - Dr Krista Steenbergen - gives her scientific take on Vibranium, a fictional metal appearing in the Marvel Comics.

Krista 1

September 3, 2020

Materials: Fact or Fiction - Nth Metal

Professor Penny Brothers, Principal Investigator at the MacDiarmid Institute and Professor of Chemistry at the Australian National University, gives her scientific take on Nth Metal from DC Comics, a hyper-conductive metal that has the ability to negate gravity, allowing a person to carry objects 20-70 times heavier than normal and to fly.

Penny Twitter

August 20, 2020

Materials: Fact or Fiction - Wildfire

UK based award-winning science journalist and broadcaster, Kit Chapman joins RNZ Nights to discuss Wildfire from Game of Thrones - a flammable liquid causing fires so hot that water cannot extinguish.

Kit Chapman 1

August 6, 2020

Materials: Fact or Fiction - Tricorder

Michel Nieuwoudt - Associate Investigator and Research Scientist at the Photon Factory in the School of Chemical Science at the University of Auckland - gives us her take on Star Trek's Tricorder.

Michel twitter

July 23, 2020

Materials: Fact or Fiction - The Subtle Knife

Another in our Materials Fact of Fiction series in partnership with RNZ Nights where we get a scientific take on a material or concept in fiction - Dr Mike Price, a Postdoctoral Fellow at Victoria University of Wellington, gives us his take on the Subtle Knife from Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials Trilogy.

Mike 2

July 9, 2020

Materials: Fact or Fiction - Flubber

Dr Nate Davis - MacDiarmid Institute Associate Investigator and Lecturer in Physical Chemistry at Victoria University of Wellington - gives his scientific take on Flubber, a fictional material which looks like Silly Putty but defies the laws of physics.

Nate Davis min

June 25, 2020

Materials: Fact or Fiction - Neutronium

JJ Eldridge, Associate Professor in Physics at the Faculty of Science, University of Auckland, gives us her scientific take on Neutronium - a material widely written about in fiction - including Star Wars, Star Trek and in the Marvel comics.

JJ Eldridge min

June 11, 2020

Materials: Fact or Fiction - Feminum

Associate Professor Nicola Gaston, MacDiarmid Institute Co-Director and Principal Investigator, gives us her scientific take on Feminum, the indestructible bulletproof metal of which Wonder Woman’s bracelets are made.

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May 28, 2020

Materials: Fact or Fiction - Adamantium

Dr Chris Bumby, Associate Investigator and Senior Scientist at the Robinson Research Institute of Victoria University of Wellington, gives his scientific take on Adamantium from the Marvel Universe.

Adamantium is one of several 'amazing materials' which have been invented over the years by the authors of Marvel comics. It is most well known as the 'indestructible' metal which becomes infused into the skeleton of the mutant X-Men hero Wolverine.

Chris Bumby and Bryan Crump

May 14, 2020

Materials: Fact or Fiction - Sting

Another in our Materials Fact of Fiction series in partnership with RNZ Nights where we get a scientific take on a material or concept in fiction - Dr Mike Price, a Postdoctoral Fellow at Victoria University of Wellington, gives us his take on Sting from Lord of The Rings.

Mike 2

April 16, 2020

Materials: Fact or Fiction - Dilithium Crystals

Dr Krista Steenbergen, MacDiarmid Institute Associate Investigator and Physics Lecturer at Victoria University of Wellington give us her scientific take on Dilithium Crystals from Star Trek.

Krista 1

April 2, 2020

Materials: Fact or Fiction - Mithril

Dr Chris Bumby, MacDiarmid Institute Associate Investigator and Senior Scientist at the Robinson Research Institute of Victoria University of Wellington, gives his science take on Mithril from Lord of the Rings.

Mithril Chris

March 19, 2020

Materials: Fact or Fiction - Axonite

Professor Bill Williams, MacDiarmid Institute Principal Investigator and Professor in Biophysics and Soft Matter at Massey University discusses Axonite from Dr Who - A 'thinking' material that can replicate any substance and spreads itself across the cosmos to feed itself.

bill twitter

March 5, 2020

Materials: Fact or Fiction - Unobtanium

In this episode, Associate Professor Nicola Gaston, Co-Director of the MacDiarmid Institute, talks to Bryan Crump about unobtanium, most recently the plot device behind the movie Avatar although it's had other outings in science fiction pop culture. 

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February 20, 2020

Materials: Fact or Fiction - Lightsabers

In this episode, Professor Justin Hodgkiss, Co-Director of the MacDiarmid Institute, talks to Bryan Crump and gives his take on lightsabers. 

Justin Twitter

January 30, 2020

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