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.
The PPPL function that reaches out to students, teachers and the general public through programs ranging from student internships to weekly talks on scientific topics from January through April.
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).
Fifty seventh- and eighth-graders from John Witherspoon Middle School in Princeton came to PPPL for a half day on March 4 to become scientists – doing a variety of hands-on science activities, from building a motor to sampling ice cream frozen with liquid nitrogen in a cryogenics demonstration, to watching cool plasma demonstrations of lightning, static electricity and stars. They left wanting more.
The West Windsor-Plainsboro South High School Science Bowl team is going to Washington, DC, for the second consecutive year after emerging undefeated in 12 rounds of challenging science and mathematics questions at the New Jersey Regional Science Bowl at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) on Feb. 20.
The team defeated the Millburn High School Team in the final contest to win the Science Bowl. Millburn High School came in second, while Princeton High School came in third.
The announcement Feb. 11 of the detection of gravitational waves, predicted by Albert Einstein some 100 years ago, created a surge of excitement among physicists worldwide, including many with ties to Princeton University. Early evidence for the waves was found several decades ago by Princeton astrophysicist Joseph Taylor and Russell Hulse, a former physicist for the U.S. Department of Energy's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. They received the Nobel Prize in physics in 1993.
The world’s nuclear enrichment programs should be under international control to prevent the development of nuclear weapons after the new arms deal with Iran expires in 10 to 15 years, said Frank von Hippel, a senior Princeton University research physicist and a former security advisor during the Clinton Administration.
“We have 10 to 15 years to strengthen the non-proliferation machine,” von Hippel said, speaking at the Ronald E. Hatcher Science on Saturday public lecture Jan. 30 at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory.
Shannon Greco, a science education program leader at PPPL, has been named one of the YWCA Princeton’s “women of excellence” for her work with young women and disadvantaged youth, including her help in starting two all-girls robotics teams for the YWCA Princeton.
The same process that determines why certain bees become queen bees while others with the exact same DNA become worker bees also plays a role in how doughnuts eaten by a pregnant woman may influence whether her child becomes obese.
When astronomer Isaac Roberts showed a photograph of the Andromeda Nebula to the Royal Astronomical Society, it caused a huge sensation. “There were audible gasps in the audience,” astronomer Alan Hirshfeld told the audience at the first Ronald E. Hatcher Science on Saturday lecture at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory on Jan. 9.
“The professional astronomers had never seen such a clear image of the nebula,” Hirshfeld said.
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory managed by Princeton University.
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