Dr Rachel Oliver, Fellow in Materials Science, has recently appeared on "The Naked Scientists", an interactive science radio talk show broadcast live by the BBC in the East of England, nationally by BBC Radio 5 Live and internationally on ABC Radio National, Australia; it is also distributed globally as a podcast. Dr Oliver took part in a segment of the show about energy efficient light bulbs based on light emitting diodes (LEDs). Improving the efficiency and colour balance of such bulbs is a major strand of her research programme, which addresses many different aspects of opto-electronics.
For the radio show, Dr Oliver welcomed journalists to her lab to discuss how LED light bulbs are made and how they work. One challenge was thinking up some demonstrations which would help to illustrate the scientific concepts and which would be effective in a radio show. Demonstrating how a light source works through the means of sound is not easy! Whilst Dr Oliver's segment was recorded, one of her colleagues was also involved in the live broadcast. You can listen to the show as a podcast[i] (with Dr Oliver's segment also being available separately[ii]). You can also listen through the BBC iPlayer[iii].