Made in Dundee

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    29 Nov 2018
    Clock 70min      Length2mi
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    Carnegie Building

    Pay wave

    Stop in the garden.

    Geddes had a contempt for examinations and never actually received a degree himself, despite lecturing at Edinburgh University and holding chairs at University College Dundee and Bombay University.

    The design of the quadrangle is very much inspired by him – he believed in getting students out of the classroom and learning by practical examples.

    It is therefore fitting that this quadrangle played a part in the work of two more Dundee scientists. Professor Walter Spear and Professor Peter Le Comber were collaborators who developed the amorphous silicon thin film transistor. Those words may mean nothing to you, but you will have benefited from their discovery. This transistor allowed Liquid Crystal Displays or LCDs to be invented. LCDs are regularly used for the screens in computers, mobile phones and TVs. It is highly probably that the very device you are listening to this tour on has an LCD.

    You may recall a plaque to Spear and Le Comber in the Discovery Walk. Do you recognise the sundial? It made an appearance because Spear and Le Comber saw it every day on the way to their offices in the physics building behind the sundial. It is nice to think of the two men, friends and collaborators, enjoying a break from puzzling over the many difficulties of silicon transistors by relaxing in this garden.

    Stand with your back to the entrance you came in at. If you walk straight ahead you will come to a flight of stairs. Go down them. Once you are at the bottom of the steps, follow the road out.