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Science on Saturday lectures run through March 19

The Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory's 20th annual "Science on Saturday" program, a series of talks geared toward high school students, begins Saturday, Jan. 15, and runs through March 19.

The talks, with topics ranging from quantum physics to mountain gorillas, begin at 9:30 a.m. on designated Saturdays and usually finish by 11:15 a.m. Students, teachers, parents and community members are invited to attend the lectures in the Gottlieb Auditorium on the Forrestal Campus.

There is no preregistration; registration takes place on site before each session. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Heightened security at the lab requires that all adult visitors show government-issued photo identification. Directions and further information are available from the Plasma Physics Lab.

This year's series includes the following lectures:

  • Jan. 15: "The Idea of a Moduli Space" by Jordan Ellenberg, professor of mathematics, Princeton University.
  • Jan. 22: "A Quantum Chemist Looks Under the Hood: What Makes Molecules Do the Things They Do?" by Michelle Francl, professor of chemistry, Bryn Mawr College.
  • Jan. 29: "The Body Synthetic: Biomaterials in You" by Michele Marcolongo, associate professor of materials science and engineering, Drexel University.
  • Feb. 5: "Glass, The Canvas for Science: From the Scientific Glassblower's Perspective" by Michael Souza, Department of Chemistry, Princeton University.
  • Feb. 12: "Linking Perception to Action: Mechanisms of the Brain that Give Rise to Qualities of the Mind" by Joshua Gold, professor of neuroscience, University of Pennsylvania.
  • Feb. 19: "Invading the Virus World: Detective Stories in Infectious Disease" by Joseph McCormick and Susan Fisher-Hoch of the University of Texas Health Science Center.
  • March 5: "More Perfect Than We Imagined: A Physicist's View of Life" by William Bialek, professor of physics and genomics, Princeton University.
  • March 12: "High-power Lasers: Another Path to Fusion Energy" by John Sethian of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory.
  • March 19: "What is the Value of Continued Long-term Research on Wild Mountain Gorillas?" by Dieter Steklis of Rutgers University and the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International.

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