HomeExaminerExaminer NewsScience lectures will be available online to individuals of all ages

Science lectures will be available online to individuals of all ages

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) will once again give science fans of all ages a way to escape the winter doldrums with a series of scientific adventures exploring new frontiers in cutting-edge science during the laboratory’s lecture series beginning Jan. 29.

The Ronald E. Hatcher Science on Saturday lectures will be offered live online for the
third year and will be held at 9:30 a.m. weekly through March 12 (no lecture
on Feb. 19). Individuals must register online one time to get a link to attend all the lectures, according to a press release.

Deedee Ortiz, the science education program manager who organizes the series, said
she is grateful to be able to offer the program for the 38th year despite the COVID-
19 pandemic.

The series kicks off on Jan. 29 with a talk on “New Technological Frontiers in Cities” by Elie Bou-Zeid, a Princeton University professor of civil and environmental engineering and
director of the Program in Environmental Engineering and Water Resources.

Other talks will focus on a variety of topics, including plasma physics, ocean robotics
and auroras.

The Science on Saturday series is named for PPPL’s Ronald E. Hatcher, the
PPPL engineer who hosted Science on Saturday for many years and who died in 2014.

The program is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science. It is hosted by Andrew Zwicker, head of communications and public outreach at PPPL, according to the press release.

“I am very excited to host the Science on Saturday lectures again this year,” Zwicker
said. “We are so happy we can offer this great lineup of talks by cutting-edge scientists
and we look forward to seeing our regulars and new audience members.”

For individuals who cannot make it to the lectures or who want to check out previous talks, the lectures will be posted on the Science on Saturday archives.

The complete schedule for the year is:

• Jan. 29 at 9:30 a.m. – Elie Bou-Zeid, professor of civil and environmental engineering and
director of the Program in Environmental Engineering and Water Resources, Princeton
University, “New Technological Frontiers in Cities.”

• Feb. 5 at 9:30 a.m. – PPPL physicist Florian Laggner, “Diagnosing Fusion Plasmas: How
to Perform Measurements in a 100-Million Degree Environment.”

• Feb. 12 at 9:30 a.m. – Janet Iawasa, Biochemistry Department, University of Utah School
of Medicine, ”Animating Molecular Machines.”

• Feb. 26 at 9:30 a.m. – James Schroeder, Department of Physics and Engineering,
Wheaton College, “Answering a 40-year-old Riddle: Can Alfven Waves Cause Auroras?”

• March 5 at 9:30 a.m. – Travis Miles, Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences, Rutgers
University, “Ocean Robotics for the New Blue Economy.”

• March 12 at 9:30 a.m. – Evdokiya Kostadinova, Physics Department, Auburn University,
“Feeling the Heat: Fusion Plasmas Used to Study Spacecraft Heat Shields.”

PPPL, on Princeton University’s Forrestal Campus in Plainsboro, is devoted to creating new knowledge about the physics of plasmas – ultra-hot, charged gases – and to developing practical solutions for the creation of fusion energy, according to the press release.

The laboratory is managed by the university for the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, which is the largest single supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of the present time, according to the press release.

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