On Nov. 15 at 8 p.m., five of Fermilab’s best and brightest will duke it out in the Fermilab Arts and Lecture Series Physics Slam 2013. The event is similar to a poetry slam – each of the five physicists will get 1 0 minutes to explain a complex scientific concept to the audience in the most clear and entertaining way possible.
And just as in a poetry slam, the audience will decide the winner. The physicist who receives the loudest applause will walk away a champion.
This won’t be your average physics lecture, however. The five slammers will be allowed to use any props they want and illuminate their chosen concepts with humor, songs or audience participation. Don’t expect to see a lot of complex equations or diagrams. Do expect to have fun while learning about the science conducted at the Department of Energy’s premier laboratory for particle physics.
This will be the second Physics Slam at Fermilab. The first was held in November 2012, with a packed house cheering on the first five brave physicists who took the stage. The winner was Stuart Henderson, Fermilab’s Associate Director for Accelerators, whose winning presentation incorporated satirical website The Onion and Homer Simpson.
Here are participants in the second Physics Slam:
- Recreating the Big Bang in the Lab: Don Lincoln
Don is a senior scientist at Fermilab and member of the CMS collaboration. Lincoln’s presentation will explore just how laboratories simulate conditions of the big bang with enormous accelerators.
- Hunting for Dark Matter: Hugh Lippincott
Lippincott is a post-doctoral researcher working on dark – matter experiments. His talk will explore the mystery of dark matter – we know it’s there, but we know almost nothing about it – and how physicists are trying to detect it.
- The Case Files of the Neutrino: Tia Miceli
A postdoctoral researcher on the MicroBooNE experiment at Fermilab, Miceli will lay out the unsolved mysteries surrounding the elusive particle called the neutrino and how it ties into dark matter and symmetry investigations.
- The Cosmic Nightly News – A Day in the Life of the Universe: Brian Nord
A postdoctoral researcher on the Dark Energy Survey, Nord will take us behind the scenes of supernovae and delve into dark energy, space-time rips and the shape of our universe.
- Universal Mysteries – Revealing Clues with Mus – Chris Polly
Project manager for Fermilab’s Muon g-2 experiment, Polly will explore elusive and short-lived particles called muons, revealing how they help us understand other mysteries of our universe.
As it was last year, the Physics Slam will be hosted by the College of DuPage’s Chris Miller, associate speech professor and creator of That Beepin’ Show, a regular lighthearted look at activities happening on campus. Miller’s trademark humor will again be a big part of the event.
The Physics Slam is part of Fermilab’s Arts and Lecture Series. Upcoming events include a performance by Stars of Dance Chicago on Nov. 9, a rescheduled lecture on the physics of superheroes by Dr. James Kakalios of the University of Minnesota on Dec. 6, and a holiday show by the Four Bitchin’ Babes on Dec. 14.
Admission to the Physics Slam is $7. Reserve tickets by phoning 630-840-ARTS (2787) or order online with no additional fees at www.fnal.gov/culture. On the evening of the lecture, the box office will open at 7 p.m. and will-call tickets can be picked up, or available tickets purchased, at that time.
The Fermilab Arts and Lecture Series takes place in Ramsey Auditorium, located in Wilson Hall, the high-rise building on the Fermilab campus. The entrance is via Pine Street at Kirk Road in Batavia or via Batavia Road, west of Rt. 59 in Warrenville. For more information on this and all other Fermilab Arts and Lecture Series offerings, go to www.fnal.gov/culture.
Fermilab is America’s premier national laboratory for particle physics research. A U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science laboratory, Fermilab is located near Chicago, Illinois, and operated under contract by the Fermi Research Alliance, LLC. Visit Fermilab’s website at www.fnal.gov , follow Fermilab on Facebook at www.facebook.com/fermilab , and on Twitter @FermilabToday.
The DOE Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.energy.gov.