Ever wonder what goes on at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory? The SLAC Public Lecture Series is your chance to find out! The evening lectures highlight the cutting-edge science happening at the laboratory. From the nanotechnology of diamonds to the latest Higgs Boson discoveries, SLAC public lectures provide non-scientists with a unique insight into the workings of our universe.
Getting to the Core of Earth’s Magnetic Field
Join us on Zoom (passcode 650650)
Earth’s magnetic field does more than just help us to navigate. It is also used by animals for orientation and migration, and it protects life on Earth from charged particles that stream in from the sun and from deep space. This field is believed to be powered by a gigantic engine, or dynamo, created by electric currents carried by streams of molten iron in the Earth’s core. Scientists think these electric streams can start spinning spontaneously, driven by the Earth’s rotation. To test that theory, we need to know more about the properties of molten iron in the center of the Earth, where temperatures are a hundred times higher and pressures a million times greater than those on the surface. This lecture will describe studies underway at SLAC that re-create those extreme conditions, and describe a path towards measuring properties of molten iron using the unique capabilities of SLAC’s LCLS X-ray and ultrafast lasers.
The lecture is one hour long, followed by Q&A.
Ben Ofori-Okai is a Panofsky Fellow in SLAC’s High Energy Density Science Division. He received his PhD from MIT, where he worked on developing and implementing novel radiation sources for spectroscopy. Since joining SLAC in 2016, he has been working on ways to probe matter with terahertz radiation, a neglected band that lies between infrared and microwave radiation on the electromagnetic spectrum. He is now using this tool to study matter under conditions of extremely high temperature and pressure.
Public Lecture Highlights
Learn more about the work that we do by watching from our collection of popular recordings from our YouTube Playlist that highlights the breadth of our research.
Particle accelerators are used every day in a wide range of scientific, medical and industrial applications.
Presenter: Auralee Edelen
Giant planets can be up to 13 times the mass of Jupiter, while the least massive stars are about 80 times the mass of Jupiter.
Presenter: Eric Nielsen
SLAC's X-ray laser, the Linac Coherent Light Source, launched a new generation of light sources when it opened 10 years ago last month, with beams 10 billion times brighter than any before.
Presenter: Sebastien Boutet
At the center of the Earth, matter is crushed under pressures millions of times higher than we experience here on the surface.
Presenter: Emma McBride
Cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM) is a revolutionary technology for making 3D images of the inner workings of cells in much higher resolution than ever possible before.
Presenter: Wah Chiu
Increased demand for energy storage in consumer electronics, electric vehicles and the power grid presents opportunities and challenges for rechargeable battery research and development.
Presenter: Yi Cui
Solar power is a clean and renewable source of energy, but it has struggled to compete with fossil fuels on cost.
Presenter: Kevin Stone
On September 14, 2015, the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) made the first direct measurement of a gravitational wave coming from deep space.
Presenter: Brian Lantz
Dark matter is one of the most mysterious components of the universe.
Presenter: Tom Shutt
Shortly after the birth of the universe, space was filled by a plasma that was literally red-hot.
Presenter: Zeeshan Ahmed
The high standard of living we enjoy today is made possible by catalysts – behind-the-scenes agents that promote chemical reactions in the vast majority of industrial processes, including production of fertilizers, gasoline and other essential products.
Presenter: Simon Bare