'Science-on-Saturday' lectures offered

Dec. 23, 2009 3:16 p.m.

The Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory's annual "Science-on-Saturday" program -- a series of nine talks on topics including fusion energy, the first electromagnetic machine and cell-to-cell communication -- is scheduled for Jan. 9 through March 13.

The talks begin at 9:30 a.m. on designated Saturdays and usually run about two hours. The program is geared toward high school students, but all campus and local community members are invited to attend the free lectures in the Gottlieb Auditorium on the Forrestal Campus in Plainsboro.

The series, now in its 26th year, includes the following lectures:

• Jan. 9 -- "Tiny Conspiracies: Cell-to-Cell Communication in Bacteria" with Bonnie Bassler, the Squibb Professor in Molecular Biology at Princeton.

Jan. 16 -- "An Earthling's Guide to Photographing Extrasolar Planets" with Paul Kalas, associate adjunct professor of astronomy at the University of California-Berkeley and
the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute.

• Jan. 23 -- "A New Understanding of the First Electromagnetic Machine -- Joseph
Henry's Electric Motor" with Michael Littman, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Princeton.

• Jan. 30 -- "Turbulent Flow: From Submarines to Global Warming" with Alexander Smits, the Eugene Higgins Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Princeton.

• Feb. 6 -- "What Happened Before the Big Bang?" with Martin Bojowald, associate professor of physics at Pennsylvania State University.

• Feb. 13 -- "Break an Enzyme, Have a Glass of Milk, Conquer a Continent" with Henry Harpending, professor of anthropology at the University of Utah.

• Feb. 20 -- "Fusion Energy: Why, How and When" with Stewart Prager, director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory and professor of astrophysical sciences.

• March 6 -- "Making Music: Materials and the Art and Science of Sound" with Ulrike G.K. Wegst, the Anne Stevens Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Drexel University.

• March 13 -- "Cold Plasma Interaction With Living Tissue: Mechanisms and Applications" with Gregory Fridman, assistant professor of plasma bioengineering at Drexel.

Registration is on-site prior to each session. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Security measures at the lab require adult visitors to show government-issued photo identification upon arrival. Directions and further information are available from the PPPL website.