The Saturday Physics Series consists of five to seven scheduled talks oriented toward adults and high school students. Lectures occur on specific Saturdays afternoons throughout the school year, typically in Duane G1B30. Lectures begin at 1:30 p.m., and usually last about one hour. Material is presented at the level of high school juniors and seniors, which makes it an excellent opportunity for Physics teachers to offer extra credit to students. The series is free, open to the public, and no reservations are required. Simply show up and enjoy the show!
Fall 2019 Schedule
September 28 — "Rocky Mountain High: The Physics of Baseball at Elevation"
- Presented by: Professor John Bohn
- Abstract: From the beginning, Coors Field has been tagged as a hitter’s ballpark, with home runs flying out at an incredible rate and pitchers unable to cope. This is, at least partly, due to the thin air a mile above sea level, and is a result of influences whose physics can be understood. In this talk I address the physics of baseball in Denver, including the effect the famous Coors Field humidor has had on the game.
October 19 — "Lunar Exploration: 50 Years After the Historical Apollo 11 Landing"
- Presented by: Professor Shijie Zhong
- Abstract: This presentation is about the Apollo 11 landing, Apollo mission, and its impact on our understanding of the Moon and Earth-Moon system. Historical events surrounding the Apollo mission and landings will be recounted. Post-Apollo lunar missions by both US and other countries will also be discussed, together with a brief future outlook.
November 2 — "Harnessing the Power of Plasma to Build the Particle Accelerators of the Future"
- Presented by: Professor Michael Litos
- Abstract: In order to continue pushing the boundaries of experimental particle physics, particles need to be collided at ever higher energies. This could be accomplished by building even larger accelerators that utilize current technologies, but such an approach may be prohibitively expensive. An alternative approach is to develop new accelerator technologies that can produce a higher energy boost to the particles over each meter of distance. Four decades ago, it was realized that the power of plasma waves could be harnessed to serve this purpose. Since then, plasma wakefield acceleration has become a major field of physics research, and significant progress has been made toward the realization of plasma-powered, high energy physics particle accelerators.
December 7 — "Making Snow - New Insights from Orographic Cloud Seeding"
- Presented by: Professor Katja Friedrich
- Abstract: Throughout the western U.S., water supplies are primarily fed through the melting of snowpack. Growing populations place higher demands on water while warmer winters and earlier springs reduce its supply. Water managers use seeding orographic clouds in winter as a way to increase snowfall. This talk will provide an overview of the history of cloud seeding, the underlying physical principle, the challenges, and scientific breakthrough to improve experimental design and address the main questions of how much snow can we actually produce.
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For more information please contact Veronica Lingo.