All ages invited to attend virtual talks at Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

The Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory’s (PPPL) 36-year tradition of offering weekly cutting-edge, informative talks about a wide variety of science subjects will continue with a live online version.

The Ronald E. Hatcher Science on Saturday Lecture Series resumes on Jan. 9 from 9:30-11:30 a.m. and continues through March 13 on the Zoom virtual meeting platform. Go to PPPL’s Science Education webpage for the link.

The lecture series attracts hundreds of people each week, ranging from high school students to senior citizens who have been coming to the lectures for decades. The program is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science, according to a press release from the PPPL.

The series kicks off with a lecture about “The Renaissance of the Stellarator Fusion Concept,” by PPPL physicist David Gates, head of Advanced Projects.

Stellarators, a type of fusion energy facility that has twisty coils, were invented by PPPL founder Lyman Spitzer in the 1950s. The complex devices have been a less popular choice for fusion experiments than donut-shaped tokamaks, but are making a comeback as scientists find new approaches to stellarator design, according to the press release.

Other highlights of the series will include a talk by Geeta Govindarajoo, professor of chemistry at Rutgers University, about the intersection between chemistry and art.

Govindarajoo will discuss the role of chemistry in creating and restoring art and detecting forgeries.

Questions for the speaker may be asked by tweeting to @PPPLsSciEd or #scionsat

The January schedule is:

• Jan. 9: David Gates, PPPL, “The Renaissance of the Stellarator Fusion Concept.”

• Jan. 16: Arvind Narayanan, a computer scientist and professor at Princeton University,
“How to Recognize AI Snake Oil.”

• Jan. 23: Geeta Govindarajoo, of Rutgers University’s Department of Chemistry and
Chemical Biology, “Chemistry and Art: Like Dissolves Like. How Solubility Influences
Creating and Restoring Art, Forgery and Telling a Good Story.”

• Jan. 30: Cristian Galbiaiti, of Princeton University’s Department of Physics, “From
Studying the Sun, to Searching for Dark Matter, to Fighting COVID-19.”

The complete schedule will be posted soon on the Science on Saturday website.