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Science literacy

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Having the knowledge and understanding of scientific concepts and processes necessary to make informed decisions on scientific issues.

COLLOQUIUM: How Trenton Iron and Steel Innovations Reshaped America

Iron and steel innovations in Trenton helped transform modern life with new methods of transportation, construction, and communications. Peter Cooper established his Trenton Iron Company on the Delaware River in 1847, and rolled America’s first I-beams in the early 1850s. Cooper then established the New Jersey Steel & Iron Company to fabricate structural steel for larger and larger buildings and bridges. At Cooper’s suggestion, John A. Roebling built his wire rope factory in Trenton in 1849, and the John A.

Young Women’s Conference cheers on girls interested in STEM

The Young Women’s Conference hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) became a pep rally for science this year when all 400 girls attending shouted “Science” at the top of their lungs from the bleachers in Jadwin Gymnasium at the urging of keynote speaker Jayatri Das. It was no doubt the first such cheer ever shouted in the gym.

Students try out PPPL plasma physics experiment that can be accessed from anywhere in the world

Students at West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South in West Windsor, N.J. were enthralled when they watched a glowing pink plasma appear on a screen in their classroom in a video stream of PPPL’s Remote Glow Discharge Experiment (RGDX) five miles away.

The March 12 event marked the first public demonstration of an invention that fills a gap in online education by providing students anywhere in the world with a way to take part in an actual experiment online.

The Olympics of science knowledge at DOE's New Jersey Regional Science Bowl at PPPL

Just as the Olympics were wrapping up in Sochi, PPPL was hosting its own Olympics of sorts for budding young scientists. But this Olympics focused on young contestants’ knowledge of science, mathematics and technology in a quest to win the regional contest to compete in the National Science Bowl in Washington D.C.

COLLOQUIUM: Your Restless Brain: Changing Continually Throughout the Day and Night

As you read this, your brain is changing. Think about that. Do you remember what you just read? Of course you do, and the only way that could happen is by some type of biochemical or structural modification of your brain. Your brain is constantly active, day and night and constantly being altered. Brain plasticity is the hottest topic in neuroscience today and will be for many years to come.

COLLOQUIUM: In Pursuit of Ignition on the National Ignition Facility

The Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) Program is conducting experiments at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory with the goal of igniting a propagating thermonuclear burn wave in DT fuel leading to energy gain (defined as fusion yield/input laser energy >1). To do this the NIF laser delivers up to ~ 2 MJ of energy to a hohlraum (cylindrical cavity) which generates x-rays that implode a ~2 mm diameter spherical capsule filled with a solid layer of cryogenic deuterium-tritium (DT) fuel.

COLLOQUIUM: Renewable Fuels and Chemicals

We will discuss modern technologies that rely on biomass degradation to simple derivatives, such as sugars, followed by a number of reactions, such as isomerization, acid-based chemistry, and etherification to convert sugars to valuable intermediates, such as furans and green monomers. Cross-cutting technologies, including hierarchical multiscale materials and models, will be reviewed.

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