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Showing posts from September, 2009

Smashing Protons!

"Smashing Protons!: Exploring Nature's Fundamental Particles and Forces with the Large Hadron Collider" with Beate Heinemann, Assistant Professor of Physics, UC-Berkeley

(September 30, 2009)

Dr. Heinemann's experiment recently became famous when it was featured in the blockbuster movie "Angels & Demons" with Tom Hanks. She will discuss particle physics and her work with the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland.

"The field of "particle physics" tries to understand the physics of the most fundamental building blocks of matter. How many such building blocks are there? How do they relate to each other? Why are they there? Currently we do not have a good theory why we have any mass at all, even though of course we know that all matter has a mass. There are, however, many theories about why this might be and the goal of my experiment is to prove or disprove them, or to maybe find completely unexpected phenomena that will then need to be explained…

Detecting Illicit Nuclear Material with Edward Morse, PhD

Join us for the kick-off to the Marin Science Seminar Fall 2009 season!

Detecting Illicit Nuclear Material with Professor Edward Morse
Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009, 7:30 - 8:30 pm
Terra Linda High School, San Rafael, Room 207

Detecting nuclear material at ports of entry into the United States and at other locations is a daunting problem but is an essential element of a counterterrorism strategy for the country. A major difficulty in detection is the minimization of false-positive signals from a wide variety of cargo containing NORM, or naturally occurring radioactive material. One technique which looks promising is the use of nuclear resonance fluorescence (NRF) for detecting special nuclear material such as U-235. We have embarked on a five year program at UC Berkeley, called DoNuTS (Domestic Nuclear Threat Security), which looks at various aspects of the threat detection problem. This program will be discussed, with emphasis on the physics and technology of NRF as well as other aspe…