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Bankhead Theater - Livermore
64 - Science on Saturdays

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Science on Saturdays.

Science on Saturday (SOS) is a series of science lectures targeted at middle and high school students. Each topic highlights cutting-edge science occurring at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). The talks are presented by leading LLNL science researchers supported by master high school science teachers. Admission is free of charge. Seating is on a first come basis. Seats may not be reserved in advance.

Students receive a "Student Notes" worksheet to record key information from the talk. The worksheet will be marked with the official SOS stamp at the end of the presentation. Many teachers use the worksheet to award "extra credit." Students should check with their teacher in advance to determine if they will receive credit for attending SOS.

The presentation photographed here is called Star Power on Earth: The Path to Clean Limitless Energy Future, and was presented on February 21, 2009.
See here for the rest of the schedule for Winter 2009.



Richard Farnsworth introducing the event


Silvia Moses (Science Teacher) and Ed Moses (Director, National Ignition Facility)

Chris Ebbers demonstrates a 10mW Helium-Neon laser, and how it can be focused.
10mW is about the power of two laser pointers.

The balloon is not yet at the focal point

The laser has just popped the balloon as the light was focused on a small area.
Portions of the balloon can be seen just to the right of his hand, and further to the right near the edge of the photo

A 25 Watt 900nm infrared laser is used to set a piece of paper on fire.
The glass absorbs the infrared light but transmits the visible.

Close-up of the photo above


NIF Director Ed Moses with a group of students from the audience.
To illustrate the challenge of laser compression and fusion ignition, the science kids try to act like laser beams
and squeeze a weather balloon to the size of a large marble.
Without evenly distributed compression (needing even more hands) the balloon bulges and eventually bursts.

As the push, bulges appear elsewhere.

Eventually the balloon breaks


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All photos by Bill Nale

Livermore Performing Arts