As part of science week at Edgeborough School, Professor Franti Hartl from the University of Reading presented a seminar on photochemistry, followed by a workshop entitled Painting with Light.

In the morning lecture, Prof Hartl introduced the Year 8 class to the basic principles and important real-life applications of photochemistry.

The lecture also covered the principle of luminescence, classified as short-lived fluorescence, long-lived phosphorescence, and chemiluminescence. Prof Hartl and his PhD student Daniel Skelson exhibited several strongly fluorescent compounds, known as laser dyes, which upon irradiation with UV light shone brightly in green and blue.

After lunch, it was time for the pupils to paint with light, employing the pigment Prussian Blue used in historical paintings such as The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Hokusai.

Edgeborough chemistry teacher Patrick Flannery, who organised the day, said: “It is important for our senior pupils to be given opportunities to learn from a variety of experts and having Prof Hartl and Daniel spend the day with us and delivered such an informative lecture and workshop showing the daily influence of photochemistry was one such opportunity.

“We look forward to building our relationship with Prof Hartl and his team.”