Inoculating Science with the SciSchmooze

Science Schmooze 4.12.21

Hello Fans of Science and Reason,

I was so hoping to be able to get this out in time to remind you to watch NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter take flight this afternoon.  Sadly Ingenuity has been told to wait a couple of sols.  It is amazing that this is all happening here under the direction of people here on earth but it has to do it by itself!  At least they aren't chasing stories of little green men

We're now over a year in to the covid pandemic.  It has been a sad and tragic year for many people.  It is also a remarkable testament to the power of and understanding of how science works.  One of the stars of helping us understand it is Ed Yong.  We have come a long way in understanding and learning how to control the virus.  There have also been many people pushing  the denial of the problem against all we know about science and many scams as well.  We all need to stand up to misinformation and lies.  It hasn't always brought out the best in us either.  The distribution challenges have been an incredible problem.  These haven't always brought out the best in us.  Trying to get ahead of the line for vaccines that others may need more hasn't been one of our finer responses.  It has even lead to some warranted and unwarranted Vaccine Guilt!  That's the thing about science, it continues to grow, understand, learn, and correct itself when it got something wrong.  Tricks websites use to make you say yesHas the Era of Overzealous Cleaning Finally Come to an End?  It isn't just here in the Bay Area, California, or even the USA.  This is a global problem that cuts across many topics.  Here's one more resource/course that you might want to consider…  MediaWise for Seniors Fact-Checking 101

Many people have lost friends, family, jobs and so much more while struggling to get through this.  It does seem that many people are getting more optimistic about the end of the pandemic as we have known it.  I'd like to make a pitch that I made last year.  Now that you probably have your taxes done, you may find that you have some extra $$$ that you weren't able to spend.  Guess what.  Many institutions are hanging on by a thread and have a long way to go to recover.  NOW IS THE TIME TO SUPPORT THE SCIENCE MUSEUMS here in the Bay Area.  Actually there are a bunch of museums that could use some help.  They are all working hard to make reopening safe while having had to cut so many projects, programs, and people over the last year.  If your favorite place of learning isn't listed in those links don't let that stop you.  Write them a check.

So what are you interested in learning this week?  Here are a few presentations that look particularly intriguing to me… 

It doesn't fit our format for the Bay Area Science Calendar or the SciSchmooze but that doesn't mean that it isn't a great opportunity to learn about the oceans around us. Check out the 8TH ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL OCEAN (Virtual) FILM FESTIVAL APRIL 15 - MAY 2, 2021

I have always had difficulty with chemistry and biology.  I was good at physics because it made sense to me.  There were a lot of class demonstrations that made it tangible.  When it came to small things that we couldn't see I was always asking "how do we know this if we can't see it?"  Visualizing always helped me understand.  I used to be able to fold some great paper airplanes but I never figured out how to fold paper DNA!  Here's one from the department of How Did They Figure That Out?  Now with Legos!

Starting later this week you should be looking up at night.  It might be a good time to take a shower

Have a great week.  Hope for rain.

herb masters

"Art is not merely for putting statues in plazas any more than science exists for the purpose of having electric shavers." Frank Oppenheimer



Upcoming Events:
Click to see the next two weeks of events in your browser.


Monday, 04/12/2021


The Discovery of Gravitational Waves - Livestream - 04/12/2021 11:00 AM
Royal Observatory, Edinburgh

A brief (pre)history of the Discovery of Gravitational Waves

Mario Kalomenopoulos

The detection of gravitational waves some years ago, opened a new window to the Universe, created a media fuss and gave a Nobel Prize for Physics! But what is the story behind this discovery? What about the discovery claims of the 60s? And where does Glasgow fit into this mystery? In this talk, we'll try to answer these questions (and maybe some more) concerning the discovery of these mysterious waves.

Register at weblink to receive connection information


Assisting Teachers and Learners with AI - Livestream - 04/12/2021 02:30 PM
Stanford Symbolic Systems Forum

I'll discuss some of my lab's recent work on assisting learners with personalized curriculum, and helping those that help learners.

Speaker: Emma Brunskill, Stanford

See weblink for Zoom link.


Imaging flat bands and correlated quantum phases in WS2/WSe2 moire heterostructures - Livestream - 04/12/2021 02:30 PM
UC Berkeley

Van der Waals heterostructures of atomically thin crystals offer an exciting new platform to design flat electronic bands for novel correlated quantum phases. We systematically study the flat band and associated correlated states in WS2/WSe2 moire heterostructues using scanning tunneling microscopy (STM). We reveal that three-dimensional lattice reconstruction plays a key role in determining the flat moire minibands in the WS2/WSe2 heterostructure. We further probe correlated electron physics in the moire flatband using scanning tunneling spectroscopy. In particular, we develop a new non-invasive STM technique that allows us to directly visualize the emerging Wigner crystal states at fractional fillings of the WS2/WSe2 moire superlattice.

Speaker: Hongyuan Li, UC Berkeley

Editor's Note: This lecture replaces the one by Zuocheng Zhang, UC Berkeley, originally scheduled for this date.

See weblink for connection information


Physics at LHCb - Livestream - 04/12/2021 03:30 PM
SLAC Colloquium

I will describe the LHCb experiment that studies decays of b quarks (mass of 5 GeV), and charm quarks (1.5 GeV), and show how studying these particles we are sensitive to physics and new particles at very large mass scales of several TeV and up. Specific measurements of CP violation and tests of lepton flavor universality will be discussed. Strong interactions are also studied; the have detected several particles that do not fit in the simple quark model, such as tetraquarks and pentaquarks.

Speaker: Sheldon Stone, Syracuse Univ.

See weblink for Zoom link.


Quantum Computing with a Topological Phase of Matter - Livestream - 04/12/2021 04:00 PM
What Physicists Do @ Sonoma State University

Speaker: Dr. Christina Knapp, Microsoft


The Future of the Precourt Institute for Energy - Livestream - 04/12/2021 04:00 PM
Stanford Energy Seminar

The Precourt Institute for Energy welcomed a new director in January. In this seminar, he will share his vision for the future of the institute.

Speaker: Yi Cui, Stanford University

Register at weblink to receive connection information


Neutrino Surprises - Livestream - 04/12/2021 04:15 PM
UC Berkeley

As a graduate student, I had the good fortune of being asked to learn about solar neutrinos, so that I could give an introductory talk on the subject to other graduate students, preparing them for an upcoming colloquium by John Bahcall.  This started my life-long interest in neutrinos and created lasting friendships with John and others who were similarly drawn to neutrino problems.   I will describe where we stand today, emphasizing the various ongoing activities at Berkeley that are focused on probing the unusual properties of this elusive particle.  I’ll conclude by describing N3AS, a new Physics Frontier Center at Berkeley that will open its doors this fall, emphasizing the similarities between the solar neutrino confusion of the 70s and 80s, and N3AS efforts to understand how neutrinos behave in the truly exotic environments produced within supernovae and neutron star mergers.

Speaker: Wick Haxton, UC Berkeley

See weblink for Zoom information


What happened to the kilogram? - Livestream - 04/12/2021 04:30 PM
Stanford University

For 130 years, a cylinder made of a platinum-iridium alloy stored near Paris was the official definition of a kilogram, the basic unit of mass. This all changed on May 20, 2019: a kilogram is now defined by a fundamental constant of nature known as the Planck constant h, which relates the energy of a photon to its frequency: h= 6.62607015 10-34 kilograms times square meters per second.

Sounds complicated? In this talk, I will provide the reasons for changing the definition of the kilogram, give simple explanations what the new kilogram is conceptually, and explain how objects with exactly known masses can be realized using advanced technology.

Speaker: Wolfgang Ketterle, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

See weblink for Zoom information.


Blood memory: evaluating antibody responses to COVID-19 infection and vaccination - Livestream - 04/12/2021 06:30 PM
Slugs and Steins

Research into detection methods for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in blood has rapidly accelerated during the pandemic in response to global health needs. In this virtual seminar, Dr. DuBois will discuss how her lab applied existing knowledge from their research on antiviral antibodies to contribute to understanding the human antibody response to COVID-19 infection and vaccination. Specifically, she will describe her lab’s development of a new technology to quickly measure SARS-CoV-2 antibody levels in blood, with results in less than 20 minutes. Dr. DuBois will describe the utility of this technology for COVID-19 studies, as well as the potential to develop this technology as a diagnostic platform to evaluate immunity to other infectious diseases.

Register at weblink to receive connection information


Tuesday, 04/13/2021


The Semantic Gaming Experience: Become an NLU Expert with “Word Invaders” - 04/13/2021 11:50 AM
Magnimind Academy

Who said learning can't be fun? Not us! In this session, Antonio Linari will provide a hands-on coding lesson with the expert.ai Natural Language API where you will develop his new game "Word Invaders". Similar to the classic arcade game "Space Invaders", you will be shooting targets from your spaceship, but rather than shoot at aliens, you will be shooting words at lines of text to either fill gaps or fix errors. You must choose your words wisely though, because not every choice works!This exercise will not only teach you how to leverage the expert.ai NL API in game development, but educate you on the capabilities of natural language technology.

Sign up now to master the expert.ai  NL API. We promise it will be a blast!

Agenda:11:40 am - 11:50 am Arrival and socializing11:50 am - 12:00 pm Opening12:00 pm - 1:50 pm Antonio Linari, "The Semantic Gaming Experience: Become an NLU Expert with “Word Invaders” "1:50 pm - 2:00 pm Q&A Speaker: Antonio Linari is Head of Product Innovation at expert.ai Please register website. Webinar ID: 885 8593 4123


Water in meteorites: a snapshot of water in the early Solar System - Livestream - 04/13/2021 03:30 PM
UC Santa Cruz

Chondritic meteorites are fragments of asteroids that formed in the first few million years of the Solar System history. The similarity between the H isotopic composition of certain chondrites to those of Earth’s water suggests that these chondrites may have been the principal source of Earth’s water. However, the origin and evolution of water in chondrites themselves is a topic of debate, given its potentially significant implications for the dynamical processes in the early Solar System. A particularly less well studied component in chondrites are chondrules, which are small igneous spheres (0.1-1 mm diameter, thought to have formed at high temperatures of ~1700-2100 K and low pressures of 10-6 to 10-3 bars) that comprise between 30 vol.% and 80 vol.% of the chondrites. In this seminar, I will present the results of analyses of water concentration and its isotopic composition (D/H ratio) in chondrules. We found significant variations in water content (8 - 10,200 ppm) and D/H ratio (δD: 77 - 15,000‰, ranging from similar to Earth’s water to ~16 times more D-enriched) in the studied chondrules. I will show that the most likely explanation for our observation is the aqueous alteration processes in the meteorite parent body. However, I will also show evidence that a small amount of water in the chondrules are likely to be primary in origin, and discuss its implications for the partial pressure of water during chondrule formation and the origin of the primary water in chondrules.

Speaker: Kei Shimizu, University of Wisconsin

Zoom information can be found on the EPS advising Google calendar


Spin dynamics of ultracold atoms in optical lattices - Livestream - 04/13/2021 04:30 PM
Stanford University

Ultracold atoms offer a unique platform to study spin physics. When atoms are arranged in an optical lattice in form of a Mott insulator, the atomic motion is frozen out and the study and control of the spin degree of freedom emerges as a new frontier. Heisenberg spin models, where only neighboring spins interact, are the paradigmatic model for many interesting phenomena. Until very recently, all experimental studies with cold atoms addressed the special case of an isotropic Heisenberg model. Using lithium-7 atoms and Feshbach resonances to tune the interactions, we have created spin ½ Heisenberg models with adjustable anisotropy, including the special XX-model which can be exactly solved by mapping it to non-interacting fermions. Spin transport changes from ballistic to diffusive depending on the anisotropy. For transverse spin patterns, we have found several new dephasing mechanisms related to a superexchange induced effective magnetic field. Using rubidium atoms and two atoms per site, we have realized spin 1 models. The onsite interactions give rise to a so-called-single-ion anisotropy term proportional to (S_z)^2, which plays an important role in stabilizing magnetism for low-dimensional magnetic materials. Our studies of spin dynamics illustrate the role of ultracold atoms as a quantum simulator for materials and for elucidating fundamental aspects of many-body physics.

Speaker: Wolfgang Ketterle, Massachusets Institute of Technology

See weblink for Zoom information.


Wednesday, 04/14/2021


RISC-V & consumer technology with Ted Marena, Western Digital - Livestream - 04/14/2021 12:00 PM
IEEE

Speaker: Ted Marena, Western Digital


Ask the Scientist - Bella - 04/14/2021 02:00 PM
Estuary & Ocean Science Center

How do scientists go from OMG to PhD? How do they turn their passion for science into their profession? What advice do they have for future scientists?

If you are a 5th-12th grade student, undergraduate, teacher or parent, join us to ask these questions and more in a Q&A session with our weekly Seminar speakers.

Parents must give permission for children under 18 to participate.

Speaker: Bella is the Education Coordinator at the San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve and current graduate student at the University of Michigan's School for Environment and Sustainability. She completed her master's thesis studying the synergies and tradeoffs associated with agroforestry management in Puerto Rican coffee farms. She also designed a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) analysis while working with a nonprofit organization to identify which of 6,000+ vacant land parcels were most suitable for urban farming in Saginaw, Michigan. As an undergrad at the University of California Santa Barbara, Bella studied environmental science and published a study analyzing the community composition of urban birds in agro-gardens.


Can the San Francisco Bay use nature to adapt to rising seas? - Livestream - 04/14/2021 03:30 PM
Estuary & Ocean Science Center

Over the past decade, California and the Bay Area have deeply invested in understanding our vulnerabilities to climate change and sea level rise. Tougher discussions emerge when we are forced to ask ourselves, “What should we do about it? How do we organize ourselves to adapt equitably, and how do we make sure we don't leave future generations with a Bay lined with concrete walls?” A critical tool for addressing this challenge is a science-based framework for developing adaptation strategies that are appropriate for the diverse shoreline of the Bay and that take advantage of natural processes, and provides guidance for using nature-based options. This talk will describe (1) the science behind a proposal to ask the Bay Area to plan using natural boundaries as opposed to traditional jurisdictions (2) provide examples of applications of the framework in several local and regional adaptation planning efforts throughout the Bay, and (3) discuss some of the challenges to implementing these solutions.

Speaker: Julie Beagle, Deputy Program Director, Environmental Scientist, San Francisco Estuary Institute & The Aquatic Science Center

Register at weblink to receive Zoom information


Cocktails & Conservation: Glacier National Park’s Safe Passage for Grizzlies - Livestream - 04/14/2021 06:00 PM
Oakland Zoo

See weblink for YouTube and Facebook links


Wonderfest: Rewilding; Mutualism - Livestream - 04/14/2021 08:00 PM
Wonderfest

Wonderfest Science Envoys are early-career researchers with special communication skills and aspirations. Following short talks on provocative modern science topics, these two Science Envoys will answer questions with insight and enthusiasm:

Stanford environmental scientist Luísa Genes on "Rewilding Tropical Forests" - Tropical forests are suffering from deforestation, hunting, and a series of other threats that lead to the vanishing of animal populations. To reverse these threats, not only must we conserve remaining protected areas, but also restore plants and animal communities in degraded forests. What is rewilding, and can it really restore tropical forests?UC Berkeley plant biologist Lorenzo Washington on "Barriers Between Friends" - Appreciating boundaries is an important part of all relationships. Understanding the mutually beneficial relationships at the boundaries between plants and microbes has increasing importance in agriculture. An investigation into the plant cell wall illuminates how plants make microbial friends - and may help fight famine.


Thursday, 04/15/2021


Midday Science Cafe: Adapting to Change: The Future of California’s Water-Energy Nexus - Livestream - 04/15/2021 12:00 PM
UC Berkeley

Water and energy, two intricately connected systems, are critical to California’s future as we face increasing urbanization and climate change. In this Midday Science Cafe, we’ll hear from two researchers studying the connection between water and energy, or the “water-energy nexus”. We’ll learn from Julia Szinai about the implications of climate change and climate change solutions on the water-energy nexus and how California’s water and electricity resources may be impacted by the end of the century. Dr. Jennifer Stokes-Draut will illustrate how energy is used in California’s water systems and describe energy-efficient innovations for the future.

Speakers: Jennifer Stokes-Draut and Julia Szinai, UC Berkeley

See weblink for Zoom information.


Converging Threats, Cascading Health Risks: Climate Change, Food Security, and Migration - Livestream - 04/15/2021 02:30 PM
UC San Francisco

Climate change is anticipated to unleash unprecedented threats to global food security and to drive the largest wave of human migration in history. This session will evaluate the intersection of climate change with the social determinants of health, emphasizing the compounding connections between a warming climate, food and water security, and migration.

See weblink for agenda, connection information, registration, and speaker biographies.


LASER: Pulled Apart: Re-engineering and Re-purposing Human Civilization - Livestream - 04/15/2021 06:00 PM
LASER Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous

The Thacher Gallery at University of San Francisco is having an art exhibition titled "Pulled Apart" (March 1 - April 25, 2021), for which the exhibiting artists (Terry Berlier, Adam Chin, Gail Wight, Carrie Hott, Cynthia Hooper) were invited to explore the intersection of art and engineering. These artists examine through their artworks the mechanisms of gadgets, scientific instruments, and computer technologies to reveal the internal and external systems that help shape society. What can we learn about ourselves through the act of disassembling and re-engineering these human-made tools?

This panel with media artist Cynthia Hooper, fine-arts photographer Adam Chin, kinetic sculptor Terry Berlier (of the Stanford Art Department), philosopher John Campbell (of UC Berkeley) and cultural historian Piero Scaruffi will explore the exhibition and start a philosophical conversation about: what do we learn from dismantling and rebuilding the objects that humans build? what do we learn about ourselves?

Register at weblink to receive connection information.


Bird Sound Recording for Conservation and Research - Livestream - 04/15/2021 07:00 PM
Golden Gate Audubon Society

This presentation will discuss how audio recording is used for conservation and research with examples ranging from the use of portable recording systems in tropical bird conservation, autonomous recorders for detection and monitoring, automated playback systems for reintroduction, and will also touch on related issues such as the ethics of playback.  The talk will include brief discussion of individuals that have carried out this work.  The presentation will feature many good fidelity recordings that not only contain high frequencies, but very low pitched sounds as well, and both monaural and stereo formats.  The use of high fidelity stereo headphones or earbuds is highly recommended.  Laptop computer internal speakers are not capable of reproducing many low frequency signals.

Speaker: Greg Budney

See weblink for signup and connection information.


After Dark Online: Listening to the Environment - 04/15/2021 07:00 PM
ExplOratorium

Explore the intersections of art and science through the practice of individual artists weaving science, technology, and methods of discovery. We'll hear from artists who tune into the sounds of the natural world, with a particular interest in broadcasting the impacts of climate change on our aural environment. From interpreting climate data through sound through long-term documentation of specific species or habitats over time, these artists provide a unique approach for understanding the impacts of climate change.


NightSchool: Illustrating Science - Livestream - 04/15/2021 07:00 PM
California Academy of Sciences

Science has always relied on the skilled work of illustrators to help people better explain the world around them. Learn about the history of scientific illustration from the 1500s to today, and how visual artists have helped further our understanding of unseeable phenomena, microscopic organisms, and ecosystems we can’t travel to ourselves.

See weblink for YouTube and Facebook Live links.


Friday, 04/16/2021


Coded Bias - Online Screening of New Documentary On How AI Can Perpetuate Class, Race and Gender Inequities - 04/16/2021 11:00 AM
Computer History Museum

CHM is delighted to offer a special complimentary online screening of the award-winning new documentary film, Coded Bias, available for viewing on-demand any time between  April 16-19. The screenings are a companion to the CHM Live expert panel discussion, Is AI Racist?

See weblink for additional information and to register


Paleomagnetic evidence for partial differentiation of planetesimals and long-lived dynamo activity - Livestream - 04/16/2021 12:00 PM
UC Santa Cruz

Most meteorites are remnant pieces of planetesimals, the first 1- to 1000-km planetary bodies to form in the solar system. Meteorites are divided into two principal groupings: chondrites (unmelted accretional aggregates) and achondrites (products of planetary melting). This division has commonly been interpreted as evidence that planetesimals either never melted or otherwise melted throughout their entire interiors - a view that is challenged by the idea that some planetesimals were only partially differentiated, with both chondritic and achondritic constituent materials. Understanding the phenomenon of partial differentiation can place important constraints on the timing and mechanism of planetesimal formation and evolution. However, little remains known about the natures and structures of these objects, partly because none have so far been identified in the asteroid population. The IIE iron meteorites contain both achondritic and chondritic silicate inclusions of common origin and are proposed to come from a partially-differentiated body. Here, I will talk about paleomagnetic measurements we conducted on three IIE irons to search for evidence of a molten metallic core in order to constrain the internal structure of the IIE parent planetesimal. We find that the meteorites experienced a magnetic field most likely powered by a core dynamo, implying that metallic core, melted silicates and chondritic material coexisted on the IIE parent body. Combining these measurements with geochronometry data, we constrain the timing of the IIE dynamo, which points towards a structure with a substantial metallic core overlain by achondritic and chondritic silicates. This result further challenges the topology of existing meteorite classification schemes, and provides some constraints on planetary accretion and differentiation mechanisms allowing for the coexistence of melted and unmelted material on the same body.

Speaker: Clara Maurel, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Zoom information can be found on the EPS advising Google calendar


'The God Equation ' - Livestream - 04/16/2021 12:00 PM
Commonwealth Club - Online Event

When Isaac Newton established the laws of motion in 1687, he created a foundation of understanding that still guides physicists to scientific discoveries today. As studies evolve, scientists get closer to understanding the deepest mysteries of space and time. Once physicists can successfully combine theories of relativity and quantum mechanics, all forces in the universe will be recognized and tied into one. Physicist Michio Kaku seeks to document this epic journey of uniting theories of space in his new book The God Equation.

Dr. Kaku, once mentored by theoretical physicist Edward Teller, graduated summa cum laude and first in his physics class from Harvard University. Now, Dr. Kaku strives to continue Einstein’s search for a “theory of everything,” seeking to popularize science and unify the four fundamental forces of the universe - the strong force, the weak force, gravity and electromagnetism.

Join us as Michio Kaku talks about physics pioneers looking to understand the complexity of the universe.

Moderator: Kara Platoni, Wired.com


Lick Observatory Back On Sky: 2020 Wildfire Recovery - Livestream - 04/16/2021 07:30 PM
Tri-Valley Stargazers

The 2020 wildfire season saw an unprecedented series of lightning strikes sparking fires across the Bay Area. Located on Mount Hamilton, outside of San Jose, Lick Observatory was directly threatened by these fires and, for the first time in its history, was forced to evacuate. In this talk I'll discuss the events leading up to the SCU Lightning Complex fire reaching Lick Observatory, the damage it caused to our site, and the resulting cleanup efforts before our return to operations.

Speaker: Joh Rees, Lick Observatory

See weblink for connection instructions


Saturday, 04/17/2021


Climate Change, The Top 10 things you Should Know in San Francisco- Livestream - 04/17/2021 10:00 AM
San Francisco Public Library

Cyndy Comerford, Climate Program Manager at the San Francisco Department of the Environment provides a presentation on how climate change will affect our local communities, especially the most vulnerable, and the solutions available to address these near and long-term impacts. This presentation explores the top five impacts climate change will have on San Francisco, as well as the top five solutions to reduce these impacts. Comerford also provides an update on the City of San Francisco's Climate Action Plan and details ways residents can get involved.

Register at weblink to receive connection information


Searching for the Darkest Galaxies: Ultra-Faint Dwarfs as Dark Matter Laboratories - Livestream - 04/17/2021 07:00 PM
San Mateo County Astronomical Society

How small is the faintest galaxy in the Universe, and what is the nature of the dark matter particle? These seemingly unrelated questions are brought together by so-called "ultra-faint" dwarf galaxies (UFDs). The smallest UFDs contain as few as hundreds of stars and are the most dark matter-dominated systems in the Universe. Modern photometric surveys revolutionized the search for UFDs, more than doubling our census of these extreme systems. Ethan will describe how UFDs provide pristine laboratories for measuring dark matter particle properties. Next-generation observational facilities including the Vera C. Rubin Observatory are expected to discover the entire population of nearby UFDs, pointing to a bright future for these dark galaxies.

Speaker: Ethan Nadler, Stanford University

See weblink for connection information


Black Hole Portrait: How We Got Our First Picture - Livestream - 04/17/2021 07:30 PM
Mount Tamalpias Astronomy Lectures

Black holes are among the most remarkable predictions of Einstein's theory of gravity: so much material is compressed into such a small volume that nothing, not even light, can escape. Black holes have also captured the public imagination, and are commonly featured in popular culture, from Star Trek to Hollywood movies. In Spring 2019, the multinational Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) released the first real (non-Hollywood!) picture of gas around a black hole and the “shadow” cast as that gas swirls in . How did the EHT do it, and what have its combined observations taught us about black holes?

Eliot Quataert, Princeton University

See weblink for Zoom information


Virtual Telescope Viewing - Livestream - 04/17/2021 09:00 PM
Chabot Space and Science Center

Join our resident astronomers on Facebook Live every Saturday evening live from Chabot’s Observation deck!

Each week, our astronomers will guide us through spectacular night sky viewing through Nellie, Chabot‘s most powerful telescope. Weather permitting we will be able to view objects live through the telescopes and our astronomers will be available for an open forum for all of your most pressing astronomy questions.


Sunday, 04/18/2021


Conservation Physiology in Marine Mammals: Predicting Vulnerability in Threatened Cetacean, Pinniped, and Sirenian Species - Livestream - 04/18/2021 01:30 PM
Seymour Science Center

Each year, marine mammals are exposed to increasing levels of disturbance related to human activities in the marine environment. Whether it’s through competition for food, interaction with boat traffic, resource exploration, or a combination of these and other factors, the marine environment is rapidly changing in many regions. Working with Hawaiian monk seals, Florida manatees, Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, and beluga whales, scientists have developed new methods for measuring the capacity of these animals to adapt to disturbance with the hope of better informing management and conservation practices.

Join Jason John to learn more about how marine mammals are responding to these changes.


'Secrets of the Whales' - Exclusive Virtual World Premiere - 04/18/2021 05:00 PM
American Cetacean Society

Members of the ACS San Francisco Bay Chapter community are cordially invited to the EXCLUSIVE VIRTUAL WORLD PREMIERE of National Geographic’s Four-Part Special, “SECRETS OF THE WHALES”! You can be among the first to see this extraordinary four-part documentary!

Narrated by Sigourney Weaver (Alien, Avatar, Gorillas in the Mist), “SECRETS OF THE WHALES” which was filmed over three years in two dozen locations, is the definitive story of whales told through the expert perspective. With Academy Award®-winning filmmaker and conservationist James Cameron’s vision combined with acclaimed National Geographic Explorer and Photographer Brian Skerry's expertise, this series is unlike anything seen before.

“SECRETS OF THE WHALES” is an epic journey within the world’s oceans and seas, offering cinematic storytelling and breathtaking images of the planet’s most revered and largest marine mammals - whales. Filmed over three years and in 24 locations, the global event special reveals the extraordinary communication skills and intricate social structures of five different whale species - orcas, humpbacks, belugas, narwhals, and sperm whales - underscoring that whales are more complex and more like us than we ever thought.

RSVP at weblink


Monday, 04/19/2021


Dipolar excitonic insulator in atomic double layers - Livestream - 04/19/2021 02:30 PM
UC Berkeley

The excitonic insulator (EI) is a charge insulating state that arises from the spontaneous formation of bound electron-hole pairs (excitons).  It presents an interesting platform for realizing quantum many-body ground states of bosons in solids, such as condensate and superfluid.  Although the concept has been known for sixty years, to date the EI remains poorly established because reservoirs for excitons generally do not exist.  In this talk, I will discuss the realization of an EI ground state with strongly interacting excitons in atomic double layers of transition metal dichalcogenide (TMD) semiconductors.  The double layer system enables the formation of electrical reservoirs for interlayer excitons and the continuous tuning of the exciton chemical potential.  I will present direct thermodynamic evidence of the EI state based on capacitance measurements. I will also discuss the exciton phase diagram that reveals both the exciton Mott transition and exciton quasi-condensation.

Speaker: Kin Fai Mak, Cornell

See weblink for connection information


A New Measurement of the Positive Muon Anomalous Magnet Moment to 0.46 ppm - Livestream - 04/19/2021 03:30 PM
SLAC Colloquium

I present a new measurement of the positive muon anomalous magnetic moment a_μ=(g_μ-2)/2  from the Fermilab E989 experiment.   The quantity a_μ  is an exquisite probe of the quantum corrections of the muon interaction with the electromagnetic field.  The experiment is a follow up of the BNL E821 experiment, which saw a 3.7σ discrepancy from the Standard Model.   Due to the implications of possible new physics, it is of great interest to either confirm or refute the BNL result.  Our experimental technique utilizes the muon storage ring that was moved from BNL to Fermilab in 2015.    I will review the theory predictions and present our experimental technique, highlighting the innovations made by E989.    I present our first result based on a data set consisting of about 8 billion analyzed muon decays.   This result, representing only 6% of our expected final dataset, achieved an error of 0.46 ppm which is comparable to the BNL result.

Speaker: Hogan Nugyen, Fermilab

See weblink for Zoom link.


From Black Holes to Neural Networks - Livestream - 04/19/2021 04:00 PM
What Physicists Do @ Sonoma State University

Speaker: Dr. Louise Anderson, Google AI


Measuring your ingredients: topological phases for quantum computing - Livestream - 04/19/2021 04:15 PM
UC Berkeley

Topological quantum computing relies on qubits encoded in quantum states that are exponentially protected from local perturbations. One method for realizing such protected states is a practical recipe for topological superconductivity: hybrid superconductor-semiconductor nanowires in finite magnetic fields. In this talk I will describe experimental methods for identifying and manipulating the topological phase and associated Majorana quasiparticles in these devices.

Speaker: Sydney Schreppler, Microsoft


Virology 101 - 04/19/2021 05:00 PM
San Mateo Public Library

What ARE viruses? Join us for a virtual talk by Columbia University professor Dr. Vincent Racaniello, who will explain what viruses are and how they work, followed by a wide-ranging discussion on the COVID-19 pandemic. He will cover the origins of the virus, the disease, how it is diagnosed, and efforts to develop vaccines and antiviral drugs. He will describe a plausible scenario for the end of the pandemic and how future similar outbreaks might be avoided. Presentation will be followed with a Q&A. This program is presented by the San Mateo Public Library's Biotechnology Learning Center.


Continuity: Discovering the Lessons behind the World’s Longest-lived Organizations - Livestream - 04/19/2021 05:00 PM
Long Now Foundation

One of Long Now’s founding premises is that humanity’s most significant challenges require long-term solutions, including institutions that caretake and guide the knowledge and commitment needed to work over long time scales.

However, there are a limited number of organizations that have managed to stay stable over many centuries, and in some cases, over a millennium. Long Now has been informally tracking these organizations for years, and in 02019 formed The Organizational Continuity Project to study long-lived institutions more formally.

Speaker: Alexander Rose, Long Now

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Tuesday, 04/20/2021


Is Artificial Intelligence Racist? - Livestream - 04/20/2021 11:00 AM
Computer History Museum


Being with Bears - Livestream - 04/20/2021 12:00 PM
Audubon Canyon Ranch


Hubble Telescope Spacecraft - Livestream - 04/20/2021 01:30 PM
IEEE


How trees grow their own pot- Quantifying the role of trees as wind-wiggling, tap-dancing and crowbar-wielding Critical Zone architects - Livestream - 04/20/2021 03:30 PM
UC Santa Cruz


Two Talks: Popping the Science Bubble - 04/20/2021 05:30 PM
Berkeley Public Library


Mycological Society of San Francisco General Meeting - Livestream - 04/20/2021 07:00 PM
Mycological Society of San Francisco


Wednesday, 04/21/2021


SETI Talks: Going Dark: The Mystery of Vanishing Stars - Livestream - 04/21/2021 11:00 AM
SETI Institute


Estimation of Longfin Smelt Hatching Distribution, Abundance and Entrainment using Three-Dimensional Hydrodynamic - Livestream - 04/21/2021 03:30 PM
Estuary & Ocean Science Center


Evaluating and Designing Effective Arsenic Treatment Technology for Small, Low-Income Communities in California - Livestream - 04/21/2021 04:00 PM
Energy and Resources Group


The Alchemy of Us: How Humans and Matter Transformed One Another - Livestream - 04/21/2021 05:00 PM
Long Now Foundation


Lessons and Opportunities in Large Scale Networks and Smart Health Application - Livestream - 04/21/2021 07:00 PM
SF Bay Association of Computing Machinery


The Dragonfly Mission to Titan, and the Search for Life - Livestream - 04/21/2021 07:30 PM
San Francisco Amateur Astronomers


Thursday, 04/22/2021


Enacting Change through Cultivation of Student Activism and Engagement with Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion - Livestream - 04/22/2021 11:00 AM
Gladstone Institutes


Silicon Valley Leaders Symposium - Livestream - 04/22/2021 12:00 PM
Silicon Valley Leaders Symposium


Saving Rare Plants of CA - Livestream - 04/22/2021 01:00 PM
UC Botanical Garden


SFBBO Birdy Hour Talk: Bats Eat the Bugs That Bug Us! - 04/22/2021 05:00 PM
San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory


Understanding the Role of Fire-Atmosphere Interactions on Fire Spread Using Observations - Livestream - 04/22/2021 05:00 PM
Cafe Scientifique Silicon Valley


The past, present, and future of DNA-based forensics - Livestream - 04/22/2021 05:30 PM
UC Santa Cruz


Hardcore Natural History: Marine Algae as Ocean Record Keepers - Livestream - 04/22/2021 06:00 PM
Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History


After Dark Online: Earth Day - 04/22/2021 07:00 PM
ExplOratorium


NightSchool: Earth Day for the People - Livestream - 04/22/2021 07:00 PM
California Academy of Sciences


Intro to Computer Vision: Building Object Detection Models and Datasets - Livestream - 04/22/2021 07:00 PM
SF Bay Association of Computing Machinery


Wonderfest: Ask a Science Envoy: 'Awe & Big Data' - Livestream - 04/22/2021 08:00 PM
Wonderfest


Friday, 04/23/2021


Eggs, Tadpoles, to Frogs: Monitoring Frogs in the Golden Gate National Parks - Livestream - 04/23/2021 12:00 PM
Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy


Understanding the Ice Shells of Ganymede and Callisto through Their Impact Crater Records - Livestream - 04/23/2021 12:00 PM
UC Santa Cruz


'Saving the Dark' Movie and Panel Discussion - Livestream - 04/23/2021 07:00 PM
Chabot Space and Science Center


Saturday, 04/24/2021


Science Saturday: Day of the Dinosaur - Livestream - 04/24/2021 10:00 AM
Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History Pacific Grove


Reducing our Footprint with Chemistry - Livestream - 04/24/2021 11:00 AM
California Section American Chemical Society


Observing the Sky: (Some) Astronomical Innovation From Then to Now - PART 2 - Livestream - 04/24/2021 07:00 PM
East Bay Astronomical Society


Virtual Telescope Viewing - Livestream - 04/24/2021 09:00 PM
Chabot Space and Science Center


Monday, 04/26/2021


UC Berkeley Condensed Matter Physics Lecture - Livestream - 04/26/2021 02:30 PM
UC Berkeley


Stanford Symbolic Systems Forum : Katherine Hilton - Livestream - 04/26/2021 02:30 PM
Stanford Symbolic Systems Forum


Using Quantum Sensors to Search for Dark Matter - Livestream - 04/26/2021 04:00 PM
What Physicists Do @ Sonoma State University