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. Unless otherwise noted, lectures begin at 2:30 p.m., and usually last about one hour. Material is aimed at the level of high school juniors and seniors. The series is free, open to the public, and no reservations are required. Simply show up and enjoy the show!
To join our mailing list, please contact Veronica Lingo.
Fall 2023 Season
Saturday October 28 — "Enabling Innovation with Measurement Science"
- Presented by: Dr. Marla L. Dowell, Director, NIST Boulder Laboratory
- 2:30 p.m.
- Abstract: From the communications and electronic health records to atomic clocks, advanced nanomaterials and computer chips, innumerable products and services rely in some way on technology, measurement and standards provided by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. What do semiconductor manufacturing, welding, and photodynamic therapy have in common? They all rely on laser measurements for their underlying processes to be effective. We’ll discuss the role of lasers and laser measurements in these different applications. We’ll touch on why a career in physics is a great choice for curious people who like solving technical problems that impact their daily lives.
Saturday November 18 — "The C-PhLARE Project: One Thousand Students vs. the Paradox of the Sun"
- Presented by: Professor Colin G. West, University of Colorado Boulder
- 2:30 p.m.
- Abstract: It is likely both intuitive and familiar that, as you walk further from a campfire, you feel less of its heat. And yet the same is not true for the great fireball in the sky: our sun. In fact, the Sun’s corona is millions of kelvin hotter than its photosphere, despite being much further away from the center of the star. From 2020 through 2021 a team of over a thousand undergraduate students at CU Boulder painstakingly analyzed the X-ray emissions of hundreds of individual solar flares in search of evidence to help resolve this mystery. We'll discuss their findings and conclusions, as well as the novel circumstances that led to this unique collaboration, and the publication of a paper with the most co-authors in the history of The Astrophysical Journal.
**Cancelled** Saturday December 2 — "The Secret Language of Nature's Tiny Communicators"
- Presented by: Professor Orit Peleg, Department of Physics and Computer Science, University of Colorado Boulder
- 2:30 p.m.
- Abstract: Imagine a world where communication doesn't depend on words, but on flashes of light, scents, and movement. In the extraordinary world of insects, this is a daily reality. This talk will take you on a journey into the secret lives of fireflies and bees, exploring how they convey information through visual and chemical signals. Drawing on concepts from physics, mathematics, and computer science, we will uncover the universal rules that insects obey to make their communication efficient and effective. We'll investigate fireflies, whose twinkling lights allow them to "speak" over vast distances, and bees, who use scents to tell the story of their queen's location. Through a mix of real-world observation and innovative computational techniques, we'll unravel the mysteries behind these intriguing forms of dialogue.
Spring 2024 Season
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For more information please contact Veronica Lingo.