Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Turning Stars into Gold: BSLUG Spring Speaker Dessert Event Saturday Evening, April 18

UCSC Professor Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz has been a Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University this past academic year and has graciously accepted our invitation to talk to the BSLUGS.  Please come to another fabulous evening for UCSC alumni in West Newton where we’ll learn a lot, indulge in delicious dessert, and meet old and new friends.  As always, all friends and family are welcome!

Turning Stars into Gold

Most beginning chemistry students struggling with the complexities and underlying structure of the Periodic Table will simply accept the existence of the approximately 90 stable elements. Rarely does it occur to them that somewhere and in some way, all of the elements had to be synthesized. Such element generation or nucleosynthesis, through transmutation of one element into another, is a crucial byproduct of stellar energy generation. It has occurred since the birth of the first stars in the Galaxy, and without it life on Earth would not be possible. Although the general picture of element formation is well understood, many questions about the nuclear physics processes and particularly the astrophysical details responsible for forming the heavier elements such as platinum and gold remain to be answered. Here I focus on advances in our understanding—still very incomplete— of the origin of the heaviest and rarest elements in the Universe.

WHEN: Saturday, April 18
7:30-10 p.m. (7:30 p.m. dessert | 8:15 p.m. talk begins)

WHERE: At the home of Sloan Nota and Rob McKean in Newtonville, Mass. 02460

WHAT:  a fascinating talk, interesting discussion with fellow UCSC alums, and delightful dessert  

RSVP to the BSLUG Facebook Event invitation or by email to Beata (beata Panagopoulos verizon.net) by Monday, April 23

Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz is a Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC). He is also the Director of the Theoretical Astrophysics Santa Cruz Institute and the Sophie and Tycho Brahe Visiting Professor at the Niels Bohr Institute. After studying at the University of Cambridge, he was the John Bahcall Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. Since joining the UCSC faculty, Ramirez-Ruiz has won a number of national awards for his research, including a Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering  and the National Science Foundation CAREER Award. He is also a highly regarded teacher and public lecturer. In 2010, he was elected a member of the Mexican Academy of Sciences. Then 35, he was the youngest scientist ever elected to the academy.

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