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York scientist to showcase her work at the Royal Institution

Posted on 24 June 2014

A scientist at the University of York is to showcase her pioneering work on the visual analysis of atomic behaviour in chemical reactions in a presentation at the Royal Institution in London this week.

Atoms in action, Pratibha L. Gai Lab (Credit: Julian Dufort for the L'Oréal Foundation)

Professor Pratibha Gai will give a talk entitled ‘Atoms in Action’ in the RI’s Friday Evening Discourse series on Friday 27 June. Professor Gai is part of the RI’s first ever all-women line-up for a year of Friday Evening Discourses in 2014 as it celebrates the achievements ofwomen in science.

She will explain her development ofan atomic resolution-environmental transmission electron microscope (atomic resolution-ETEM) so that, for the first time, the human eye can see and analyse how atoms move and change positions in crystal structures during chemical reactions.

Professor Gai will explore the far-reaching applications of the ability to watch the action of atoms in important chemical reactions from medicine production to the creation of new energy sources.

She said: “It is a great honour to be invited by the Royal Institution to join such a group of eminent scientists in presenting Friday Evening Discourses.”

Last year, Professor Gai was named as the Laureate for Europe in the L’OREAL-UNESCO Women in Science Awards. She is Chair of Electron Microscopy at the University of York and co-director of the York JEOL Nanocentre.

Further information:

  • Friday Evening Discourse: Atoms in action takes place at the Royal Institution, 21 Albermarle Street, London W1S 4BS on Friday 27 June, 8.00pm – 9.15pm. Prices: Standard £17; Associate members £12; RI Members and Fellows FREE. Age: Suitable for all adults and older teenagers with a keen interest in science.
  • For more information about the York JEOL Nanocentre, please visit

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