Universiteit Leiden

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Tatiana Afanassjewa public lectures about physics

After a succesful first lecture, the Leiden physics institute LION is launching an online series of (Dutch language) lectures about physics, intended for a broad audience, named the Tatiana Afanassjewa lectures. Upcoming speakers are science historian Dirk van Delft, neutrino physicist Dorothea Samtleben and cosmologist Alessandra Silvestri.

The lecture series starts retroactively with Margriet van der Heijden's 19 February lecture about 'Denken is Verrukkelijk', her double biography of physicists Paul Ehrenfest and his wife Tatiana Afanassjewa.

The Afanassjewa-lecture is an online public lecture on friday afternoons (4pm, including Q&A and self-poured drinks) open to anyone with an interest in physics. By default, the lecture is in Dutch, except when stated otherwise. Those wishing to attend can sign up for the newsletter here to get the Zoom link to the lectures  (LION personnel wil get a Zoom link for individual lectures by e-mail).

Van der Heijden stressed that Afanassjewa, next to being Ehrenfests wife and sparring partner, was an independent scientist, who made contributions in thermodynamics and the didactics of mathematics. But the Leiden of a century ago did not provide many possibilities for women in science, and there was no job or professional recognition for Afanassjewa.

The name is a belated homage to Afanassjewa and also a nod to the Ehrenfest Colloquium, the interactive physics lectures that Paul Ehrenfest started, which are still being organised

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