Fermilab Colloquium Series Offers Free Public Talks on World Energy Situation Beginning Wednesday, April 13

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BATAVIA, Illinois – As rising gasoline prices emphasize the U.S. dependence on oil, the Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory will explore the present and future state of the world’s energy situation, with three free public talks over the next few months. These energy-themed presentations — on April 13, June 1 and July 6 — are aimed at general audiences, and are free and open to the public. Part of the longstanding Fermilab Colloquium series, the talks will be offered on Wednesday afternoons at 4 p.m. in the One West conference room on the first floor of Wilson Hall.

Opening the energy series on Wednesday, April 13, Dr. Steve Koonin, Chief Scientist at BP International and former Provost of the California Institute of Technology, will present “A Physicist’s View of the World’s Energy Situation.” Koonin will examine the challenge of ensuring adequate energy supplies in an environmentally acceptable manner. He will focus on technical, economic, and social considerations, suggesting possible solutions and likely energy futures.

On Wednesday, June 1, Dr. David Goodstein, Vice Provost of California Institute of Technology and Professor of Physics and Applied Physics, is scheduled to present “Out of Gas: The End of the Age of Oil.” Goodstein will discuss what the world can expect when oil production peaks, which he suggests could happen within this decade. He will raise such questions as: Is it possible to substitute other fossil fuels for oil? What happens when those fuels run out?

On Wednesday, July 6, John Turner of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory will present “A Sustainable Hydrogen Economy,” which will consider the issues involved in a possible transition to an economy driven by emission-free sources of energy. Turner will explore the development of practical emission-free technology can be developed.

Colloquium organizer Tom Zimmerman, of the Electrical Engineering Department in Fermilab’s Particle Physics Division, hopes to advance public awareness of the world’s energy situation, what the future may hold, and how physicists are contributing to the solution. “This is a timely issue because oil prices are high and people are realizing cheap energy may be a thing of the past,” Zimmerman said. “This affects every aspect of our society and asks the question, can we continue with our economic model?”

All Colloquium presentations are held at 4 p.m. in One West, on the first floor of Wilson Hall, and the talks usually last about an hour. Visitors may enter the Fermilab site by car at both the east and west entrances, at Batavia Road and Pine Street respectively. Visitors must present photo identification, such as a driver’s license, and state the purpose of their visit to security officers at the entrances. Site maps will be given to visitors to guide them to Wilson Hall, and roadways that are off limits to the public will be posted with signs.

Fermilab is a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science national laboratory, operated by Universities Research Association, Inc., under contract with the Department of Energy.