From Maxwell’s equations to the perfect cup of coffee, a talk by Dr Sarennah Longworth-Cook (Product Technical Specialist – Diffraction, Malvern Instruments Limited)
Maxwell’s equations describe the interaction of electromagnetic radiation with physical objects. One of the most commonly used, but “hidden” applications of these equations is the special solution for light interacting with particles, also known as Mie theory or Mie scattering. Mie theory is the mathematical key that enables rapid particle size measurement through the technique of laser diffraction.
Particles are everywhere, but especially in manufacturing processes. Further, the size of the particles often dictates the properties of the final product, while also being a parameter that can be quantified rapidly via laser diffraction. For example, the size of coffee particles determines the flavour characteristics of the coffee (espresso vs filter), the size of sugar particles determines the dissolution rate (table vs icing), and the size of pigment particles determines the colour and quality of finish.
In this talk I will introduce the mathematics used in laser diffraction, discuss coffee-related applications, and challenge you to name a product that does not involve particles in production.
No charge is made to attend meetings; non-IMA members are welcome.