Science Night Live with Dr. Luisa Whittaker-Brooks

Wednesday, November 8, 2017  @ 5:30 p.m. - Science Night Live with Dr. Luisa Whittaker-Brooks! "The Future Ahead: Self-powered Flexible Electronics" at Sky SLC (149 Pierpont Ave) in downtown Salt Lake City!

SCIENCE NIGHT LIVE

"Science Night Live public lectures offer a casual social and educational event in downtown Salt Lake. All events are held at Sky SLC (149 Pierpont Ave), beginning with a social at 5:30 and a lecture at 6:00 p.m. Free and open to the public! Must be 21 years of age or older."

with Dr. Luisa Whittaker-Brooks,
Department of Chemistry, University of Utah

The Future Ahead: Self-powered Flexible Electronics

Date & Time: Wednesday, November 8, 2017 at 6:00pm (Social begins at 5:30pm)

Location: Sky SLC (149 Pierpont Ave)
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Unlike solar energy, thermal energy could provide a limitless source of electricity that could power our planet all day long, regardless, if it is raining or cloudy. Here, we will discuss our recent findings towards enhancing the power conversion efficiency of waste heat recovery materials and devices.

Science Night Live is free and open to the public 21 or over. Please arrive early, as seating and parking will be limited. Click here to learn more about the Science Night Live lecture series.

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Science Employer Panel - Oct. 17

Tuesday, October 17, 2017 @ 3:00 p.m. - Science Employer Panel in room 210 of the Aline Wilmot Skaggs Building (ASB) on the U of U Campus!

SCIENCE EMPLOYER PANEL

"The Science Employer Panel brings students and professionals together for an in-depth discussion of the job prospects and internship opportunities available to science graduates. Students get direct access to insider information about a variety of science industries, while panelists get a chance to meet their future employees and share about why their business is a great place to work. Connections made at the Science Employer Panel start new careers, and help drive Utah’s economic engine."

Hosted by the College of Science

Date & Time: Tuesday, October 17, 2017 @ 3:00 pm (Panel begins at 3:00 pm, networking begins at 4:00 pm)

Location: Room 210, Aline Wilmot Skaggs Building (ASB)
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The Science Employer Panel brings students and professionals together for an in-depth discussion of the job prospects and internship opportunities available to science graduates. Students get direct access to insider information about a variety of science industries, while panelists get a chance to meet their future employees and share about why their business is a great place to work. Connections made at the Science Employer Panel start new careers, and help drive Utah’s economic engine.

Panel: 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Panelists:

  • Goldman Sachs
  • Orbital ATK
  • RJ Lee Group
  • Utah Division of Parks and Recreation

Networking: 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Networking:

  • Myriad Genetics
  • Qualtrics
  • ThermoFisher
  • Zions Bancorporation
  • Learning Abroad Outreach, University of Utah
  • Career and Professional Development Center, University of Utah

Science Employer Panel is free. Click here, or contact Paige Berg at (801) 587-8098, to learn more about the Science Employer Panel.

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Frontiers of Science with Luise Poulton

Thursday, September 28, 2017 @ 6:00 p.m. - Frontiers of Science with Luise Poulton, Managing Curator, Rare Books, Special Collections J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah! "Pioneers of Science: Ten Thousand Years That Shook the World" in room 220 of the Aline Wilmot Skaggs Building (ASB) on the U of U Campus!

FRONTIERS OF SCIENCE

with Luise Poulton,
Managing Curator, Rare Books, Special Collections J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah

Pioneers of Science: Ten Thousand Years That Shook the World


Image Credit: J. Willard Marriott Library

Date & Time: Thursday, April 20, 2017 at 6:00pm

Location: 220 Aline Skaggs Building at the University of Utah
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Euclid’s Elements of Geometry was first printed in 1482, just as soon as one of the early masters of movable type figured out how to do it. Not only does the Marriott Library have this first edition, but also first editions of books by other pioneers of science: Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, Galileo, Antoine Lavoisier, Carl Gauss, Charles Darwin, Michael Faraday, Louis Pasteur, Marie Curie, and more. Each of these books has its own story to tell. Together they give insight into the communication, conversation, collaboration, and controversy that made science possible: a revolution that has been going on in print for more than five hundred years.

Frontiers of Science is free and open to the public. Please arrive early, as seating and parking will be limited. Click here to learn more about the Frontiers of Science lecture series.

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Science Night Live with Dr. Sarah Li

Wednesday, September 20, 2017 @ 6:00 p.m. - Science Night Live with Dr. Sarah Li! "Spinning into the Future" at Sky SLC (149 Pierpont Ave) in downtown Salt Lake City!

SCIENCE NIGHT LIVE

"Science Night Live public lectures offer a casual social and educational event in downtown Salt Lake. All events are held at Sky SLC (149 Pierpont Ave), beginning with a social at 5:30 and a lecture at 6:00 p.m. Free and open to the public! Must be 21 years of age or older."

with Dr. Sarah Li,
Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of Utah

Spinning into the Future

Date & Time: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 at 6:00pm (Social begins at 5:30pm)

Location:Sky SLC (149 Pierpont Ave)
View Map

First we learn to count; next we learn to multiply. From the interaction of these two elementary operations emerge the prime numbers, the building blocks of the integers.

Computers, cellphones, and other electronics have become more powerful, faster, and smaller. Many people think that the capability of electronics grows continuously forever, and try to keep up with the best technology by buying the newest gear and gadgets. However, the inevitable trend is that the current information technology based moving electron charges around is approaching its limits in speed and miniaturization. Fortunately, electrons also have the property called “spin”, which we can use to record information and do calculations. Harnessing spin could play a key role in the future of electronics, such as quantum computation and artificial intelligence. I will show examples of spintronic experiments on the intriguing spin and how it will be useful in future applications.

Science Night Live is free and open to the public 21 or over. Please arrive early, as seating and parking will be limited. Click here to learn more about the Science Night Live lecture series.

 

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Ziggy Peacock: Remembering the University’s ‘Bill Nye’

Zigmund “Ziggy” Peacock, the University of Utah’s first physics and astronomy lecture demonstration specialist, fondly nicknamed, “Physics Wizard,” died on Wednesday, July 26, 2017 at 73 years of age. For nearly 30 years until his retirement in 2007, Peacock oversaw one of the largest physics demonstration shops in the country, covering more than 3,700-square-feet filled with more than 5,000 demos, many of which Peacock designed and built himself.


PHOTO CREDIT: Adam Beehler.Peacock felt that students learned best when they were having fun, and he worked diligently to ensure they were always engaged and excited.

"He had this ability to make the unknown, known. He was a crackerjack designer and engineer. I could go to him with the most enigmatic physics concepts and he'd quickly come up with a method of demonstrating it in a clear, understandable manner,” said Ben Bromley, chair of the Department of Physics & Astronomy. “I learned an enormous amount about how to convey physics in a memorable way. He was professional always, but also mischievous.

He wowed hundreds of thousands of students, faculty, and members of the community with his scientific demonstrations. Peacock was a very intelligent man with a photographic memory, and with a knack for making sense of the most complicated subjects. Every student who took a physics course in the late 1970's up through 2007 got to know Peacock as he brought advanced physics concepts to life right in front of them. Peacock’s enthusiasm, warm sense of humor, and passion for science education and outreach made him one of the U's most venerated and beloved figures.

“The most thrilling moment for me is when a student walks up to me and says, ‘You know, I came to one of your demos in grade school and now I’m here,’ studying physics or engineering or whatever,” Peacock said in a statement to the American Association of Physics Teachers, an organization that described him as a “Utah physics demo wiz.”

During his time at the U, Peacock won many awards and accolades from various organizations, including the American Association of Physics Teachers Distinguished Service Citation in 2006, the Meritorious Service Citation from the United States Navy, for which he served for 24 years, in 2003, the Physics Distinguished Staff Award in 2005, and was named an Ambassador for the Salt Lake City Convention & Visitors Bureau in 2004.

He was also known for his unique practical jokes; he once sent a belly dancing telegram, or “bellygram,” to a lecturing professor's class on the professor’s birthday, and occasionally tossed bang-snap fireworks into classrooms to lighten the mood when the professor was being too serious. He felt that students learned best when they were having fun, and he worked diligently to ensure they were always engaged and excited.

“Ziggy was a true pioneer for physics lecture demonstrations. He left quite an amazing legacy, and not just at the U,” remembers Adam Beehler, Peacock’s successor as the U’s lecture demonstration specialist. “Other professionals and I agree that he was an innovator, an inspiration, a special and great colleague, and above all, a true dear and loved friend.”

Peacock's obituary is available here: russonmortuary.com/notices/Zigmund-Peacock. The celebration of Zig's life will take place on Saturday, August 12th from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm at the Tower at Rice Eccles Stadium in the Varsity Room (click here for map). Entrance is via Gate E on the Northwest Corner of stadium. Parking is available on the west side of the Stadium.

See Peacock in action in his final demonstration show at the U to celebrate his retirement. Peacock begins physics at 5:37.

To honor Peacock’s memory, the Department of Physics & Astronomy is establishing an annual public science demonstration show as a tribute to Peacock’s lifelong mission to bring science education to people of all ages and abilities. The details of which will be announced on the department’s website: physics.utah.edu.

Read the full press release on the @theU website

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Piling on Pressure Solves Enduring Mystery About Metal’s Makeup

Scientists have solved a decade-long puzzle about lithium, an essential metal in cellphone and computer batteries. Using extreme pressure experiments and powerful supercomputing, the international team has unraveled the mystery of a fundamental property of lithium; its atoms are arranged in a simple structure, and may be the first direct evidence of a quantum solid behavior in a metal.

Until now, all previous experiments have indicated that lithium’s atoms had a complex arrangement. The idea baffled theoretical physicists. With only three electrons, lithium is the lightest, simplest metal on the periodic table and should have a simple structure to match.

The new study combined theory and experimentation to discover the true structure of lithium at cold temperatures, in its lowest energy state.

Scientists suggest that rapid cooling led lithium atoms to arrange themselves in complex structure and resulted in misinterpretation of the previous experimental results. To avoid this, Shanti Deemyad, associate professor at the University of Utah who led the experimental aspect of the study, applied extreme pressure to the lithium before cooling down the samples.

Deemyad’s research group prepared the lithium samples in tiny pressure cells at the U. The group then traveled to Argonne National Laboratory to apply pressure up to 10,000 times the Earth’s atmosphere by pressing the sample between the tip of two diamonds. They then cooled and depressurized the samples examined the structures at low pressure and temperature using X-ray beams.

The researchers looked at two isotopes of lithium — the lighter lithium 6 and heavier lithium 7. They found that the lighter isotope behaves differently in its transitions to lower energy structures under certain thermodynamic paths than the heavier isotope, a behavior previously only seen in helium. The difference means that depending on the weight of the nuclei, there are different ways to get to the lower energy states. This is a quantum solid characteristic.

Graeme Ackland, professor from the University of Edinburgh, led the theoretical aspect of the study by running the most sophisticated calculations of lithium’s structure to date, using advanced quantum mechanics on the ARCHER supercomputer. Both experimentation and theoretical parts of the study found that lithium’s lowest energy structure is not complex or disordered, as previous results had suggested. Instead, its atoms are arranged simply, like oranges in a box.

The study, from the Universities of Edinburgh and Utah, was published in Science.

Corresponding author Deemyad of the University of Utah Department of Physics & Astronomy, said: “Our experiments revealed that lithium is the first metallic element with quantum lattice structure behavior at moderate pressures. This will open up new possibilities for rich physics.”

Co-author Miguel Martinez-Canales of the University of Edinburgh School of Physics and Astronomy, said: “Our calculations needed an accuracy of one in 10 million, and would have taken over 40 years on a normal computer.”

Lead theoretical author Graeme Ackland of the University of Edinburgh School of Physics and Astronomy, said: “We were able to form a true picture of cold lithium by making it using high pressures. Rather than forming a complex structure, it has the simplest arrangement that there can be in nature.”

Read the full press release on the UNews website

 

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