Prof. Gboyega Adebayo

Highlighting other benefits of PEDOT, the Theoretical Physicist said it was possible for researchers to combine one or more elements with PEDOT to have an improved compound. According to him, “Part of what we do is to theoretically see how to improve on the properties of some semiconductors, such that they could be more useful to make new materials. It is when new materials are discovered that Applied Scientists could now see how to incorporate the materials into Integrated Circuit (IC) which are useful in devices such as phones, televisions and radios, among others”. He added that in Physics, there is a slogan that says, “Physics today is the technology of tomorrow”. According to him, “What that means is that people may not feel the effects of physics research until 10 or more years later. An example of this is Albert Einstein’s work which took more than 50 years before people realised it”.

He further stated that, “If you look at developed countries, they fund basic sciences because they know that technology of many things depend on how the scientists were able to master basic sciences. So, I would say that the University or government should encourage people in the fields of Physics and Mathematics. We shouldn’t say that the common man on the streets has not been feeling the impact of what we are doing presently. It doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t pay attention to the basic sciences”. According to him, “Corn and Gari sellers on the streets carry sophisticated phones, which were made possible as results of researches from basic sciences performed years or decades ago. So, the truth is that people should not look at us as doing abstract things as the time would come when you’ll see the effects of all the things we are doing”.

He, however, mentioned some of the challenges faced by Theoretical Physicists as the same faced generally by other scientists. Professor Adebayo stated that although, doing a theoretical work does not require large equipment to work with, some simulations could not be done on normal laptops or desktop computers as several millions of calculations are needed to be performed in a matter of seconds/minutes. Therefore, faster machines, known as Clusters or High Performance Clusters are required. He described clusters as very fast and accurate computer machines, which could do millions of calculations within seconds, stressing that to have access to clusters, one would need to scout abroad as there is no university or Centre that has it in Nigeria. According to him, “We have to scout around the world to see where they have clusters and beg to use it for few months for us to have some calculations done. From here, it is possible for me to connect to any cluster in any part of the world through the Internet and do my calculations from my table”.

He, therefore, stated that the major challenges are the unavailability of clusters as well as access to it even if permission is granted from abroad. “If there is no power and Internet, we won’t be able to connect or access the clusters over there”, he noted. Using clusters is like someone giving you access to his/her research equipment as a single cluster could costs up to USD40,000 but several scientists can use this single cluster. Professor Adebayo added that part of the challenge is being unable to access online journals. His words; “If you are into Theoretical Physics or you are in Mathematics and you don’t have access to online journals in realtime, you cannot move as much as you should move”. On the folding up of industries in the country and the ways to mitigate against it, he said the erratic power supply in the country should quickly be fixed to forestall further closure. According to him, if power is not fixed in the country, there is no way the nation could move forward industrially.

Professor Adebayo bagged a B.Sc. degree in Physical Sciences in 1992 from FUNAAB; M.Sc. Physics (Condensed Matter Physics) in 1997 from the University of Ibadan and Ph.D. Physics (Condensed Matter Physics) in 2005 also from the University of Ibadan with a year Sandwich Programme at the Free University, Berlin, Germany during the Ph.D. programme; He was a Scholar to the German Academic Exchange Services (DAAD); and at various times, Junior Associate and Regular Associate of the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Trieste (ICTP), Italy; and he was a Royal Society of London International Incoming Visitor in 2007 at The School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland. He has participated in scientific activities of the ICTP at various levels from 1997 till date, among others.