Mathematical research by Professor Irene Sciriha Aquilina, from the Department of Mathematics at the Faculty of Science, has attracted the attention of the award-winning Fellow of the Royal Society, Patrick Fowler. He holds a chair at the University of Sheffield, where Harry Kroto, one of the 1996 nobel prize winners for the discovery of the Buckminster fullerene, started his research.
Together with Professor Fowler, Professor Sciriha Aquilina has discovered nano-structures of new forms of carbon, the Nut Fullerenes. This discovery promises to be reproduced in scanning tunnelling microscopes and portable micro-computers. Imagine a paper-like video screen that folds flat into your pocket, doing away with bulky computer monitors and laptop displays.
What is remarkable is that the same mathematics is being developed with control engineers from Serbia and social scientists from the UK. How are leaders identified in a political network? Which familiar network can model a telecommunications network? Which pathways do neural tubes in the brain prefer? Attempted answers not only open up new venues of cooperation but also give rise to seminal mathematics.