A Collaborative National Center for Fusion & Plasma Research

Science literacy

Subscribe to RSS - Science literacy

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

COLLOQUIUM: Are You Living In A Simulation?

Recently Nick Bostrom has argued that unless we are living in a simulation, our descendants will almost certainly never run an ancestor simulation. While present-day simulations of the laws of nature are rather primitive, the constraint of finite computational resources implies calculable deviations of observables from naive expectations. Using present-day lattice quantum chromodynamics simulations as a guide, I will consider various physical quantities, including the distribution of the highest-energy cosmic rays, and the magnetic moment of the muon.

COLLOQUIUM: Chaotic Dynamics in the Physical Sciences

 Chaos was discovered near the end of the 19th century in the seminal work of Henri Poincare. However, widespread impact of chaotic dynamics accompanied by rapid development of understand did not occur until a relatively long after Poincare's work (of the order of 90 years). This talk will review some this history and give some examples illustrating the broad range of these more recent developments and applications.

COLLOQUIUM: Estimating the Age of Life Using Moore's Law

Moore's law is an empirical observation that the complexity of computer chips measured by the number of transistors doubles every 18-24 months. Because there is similarity between the evolution of human technology and living organisms, it is intriguing if an exponential increase in complexity can be found in the evolution of living organisms. Functional complexity of organisms can be roughly approximated by the size of non-redundant functional genome. It appears that genome complexity indeed increased nearly exponentially and doubled in size every 340 million years.

Students do cool summer research projects in one of the hottest spots

More than 40 college students pursuing careers in physics, engineering and computer science are spending their summer at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory working with scientists and engineers on hands-on research projects.  Here they talk about the cool science they did at the Lab, which is devoted to fusion energy and plasma science research.

Fun and inspiration for 575 young women at PPPL’s Young Women’s Conference

Some 575 seventh- to tenth-grade girls from throughout New Jersey, as well as Pennsylvania and Maryland, found fun and inspiration doing myriad hands-on activities and meeting female scientists at The Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory’s 15th annual Young Women’s Conference in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) on March 18. They talked to investigators from the FBI, watched colorful infrared images of themselves, played with robots, learned about electronics and plasma physics, saw cool chemistry, and heard about careers in STEM.

Fun and inspiration for 575 young women at PPPL’s Young Women’s Conference

Some 575 seventh- to tenth-grade girls from throughout New Jersey, as well as Pennsylvania and Maryland, found fun and inspiration doing myriad hands-on activities and meeting female scientists at The Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory’s 15th annual Young Women’s Conference in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) on March 18. They talked to investigators from the FBI, watched colorful infrared images of themselves, played with robots, learned about electronics and plasma physics, saw cool chemistry, and heard about careers in STEM. 

Hunting for Big Bang neutrinos that could provide fresh insight on the origin of the universe

Big Bang neutrinos are believed to be everywhere in the universe but have never been seen.  The expansion of the universe has stretched them and they are thought to be billions of times colder than neutrinos that stream from the sun.  As the oldest known witnesses or “relics” of the early universe, they could shed new light on the birth of the cosmos if scientists could pin them down. That’s a tall order since these ghostly particles can speed through planets as if they were empty space.

Hunting for Big Bang neutrinos that could provide fresh insight on the origin of the universe

Big Bang neutrinos are believed to be everywhere in the universe but have never been seen.  The expansion of the universe has stretched them and they are thought to be billions of times colder than neutrinos that stream from the sun.  As the oldest known witnesses or “relics” of the early universe, they could shed new light on the birth of the cosmos if scientists could pin them down. That’s a tall order since these ghostly particles can speed through planets as if they were empty space.

COLLOQUIUM: Ocean Acoustic Ecology: Great Whales, Ocean Scales, Big Data

Empirical evidence shows that great whale singers can be heard across an ocean basin, there are no known deaf marine vertebrates, and sounds from human activities impose acute and chronic costs over enormous areas of the marine acoustic environment for large portions of the year. The dramatic increase in ocean acoustic sensor data offers huge opportunities for discovery, yet underscores the lack of data systems and scientific coherence at appropriate scales.

DOE’s Ed Synakowski traces key discoveries in the quest for fusion energy

The path to creating sustainable fusion energy as a clean, abundant and affordable source of electric energy has been filled with “aha moments” that have led to a point in history when the international fusion experiment, ITER, is poised to produce more fusion energy than it uses when it is completed in 15 to 20 years, said Ed Synakowski, associate director of Science for Fusion Energy Sciences at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). 

Pages

U.S. Department of Energy
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory managed by Princeton University.

Website suggestions and feedback

Google+ · Pinterest · Instagram · Flipboard

PPPL is ISO-14001 certified

Princeton University Institutional Compliance Program

Privacy Policy

© 2017 Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. All rights reserved.

Princeton University
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory
P.O. Box 451
Princeton, NJ 08543-0451
GPS: 100 Stellarator Road
Princeton, NJ, 08540
(609) 243-2000