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Science
THE MATERIAL WORLD
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Thursday 16:30-17:00
Quentin Cooper reports on developments across the sciences. Each week scientists describe their work, conveying the excitement they feel for their research projects.
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Listen to 29 March
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QUENTIN COOPER
Quentin Cooper
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Thursday 29 March 2007
close up of bricks made out of rubbish forming part of a wall

Bricks Made Out of Rubbish

In Britain around 350million bricks are manufactured each year and over the same period, millions of tonnes of broken glass and ash from waste incinerators are buried as landfill.

Researchers from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council seem to have developed the prefect solution; build with the rubbish. The product in question is the “Bitublock”, which combines waste ash and crushed glass with bitumen to make an alternative to the traditional concrete building blocks. These blocks can be made from up to 100% waste material, and if put into full scale production they could make use of nearly 60% of incinerator ash.

Quentin Cooper is joined by Dr John Forth from Leeds University School of Civil Engineering and Dr Clare Perkins from ARUP Materials Consulting, to discuss how construction could be going green.

Subliminal Messaging

In 1957 marketeer James Vicary published a paper in which he claimed to have increased sales of fizzy drinks and popcorn in a cinema by repeatedly showing images for very short bursts in between the frames of the movie. There was a public outcry and the practice of subliminal messaging was banned in many countries.

However, by 1962 nobody had managed to repeat the results and Vicary eventually conceded that he had faked the demonstration.

Interest in the brain's ability to receive and process information unconsciously has continued however, and it is only recently, with modern brain imaging techniques, that psychologists have been able to look into these dark corners of our minds.

Quentin is joined to discuss the potential of the techniques by Geraint Jones, Professor of Cognitive Neurology at Universal College London and Jane Raymond, Professor of Experimental Consumer Psychology at the University of Wales, Bangor.
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