2015 Science Without Limits Symposium
Funded by the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation
Friday, September 11, 2015
“The Physics of Interstellar ” with Dr. Paul T. Allen of Lewis & Clark College
The film Interstellar generated many conversations in the physics and relativity communities, in part because the science advisor to the
film crew was a prominent physicist — Kip Thorne, most famous in
physics circles for his work on gravity waves and the ongoing LIGO
experiment. In this informal conversation, we’ll talk about some of
the scientific ideas that come up in the movie, including general
relativity, black holes, and wormholes. We’ll also discuss the tension
between using “good” science and generating excitement when making
7:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Conversation
7:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. Movie Screening
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Physics Seminar Presented by Dr. Jedidah Isler
Probing the Disk-Jet Connection in Fermi Gamma-ray Bright Blazars
Blazars are active galactic nuclei whose relativistic jet is aligned at small angles (< 5°) with respect to the Earth line of sight. These relativistic jets produce radio through gamma-ray emission, via synchrotron radiation at long wavelengths and likely inverse Compton scattering at gamma-ray energies. Yet, much of the physics of blazar jets is still uncertain; e.g., it is not clear whether the gamma-rays come from sub-parsec or parsec scales or if there is one gamma-emitting site or many. To address these questions I take a two-fold approach: first comparing the observed broad emission line flux with Fermi gamma-ray flux and optical linear polarized flux to estimate its relationship to jet activity. Three sources showed statistically significant emission line variability, in close temporal proximity to Fermi gamma-ray flares, which I will discuss further in this talk. Secondly, I compare the optical and near-infrared (OIR) flux and color to the Fermi gamma-ray flux on similar cadence and present a schematic representation of the long-term OIR color variability. Using this schematic, changes in the relative contribution of the disk and jet emission, migration of the gamma-emitting region to outside the broad line region, and injections of higher energy electrons in the jet itself are shown to contribute to the long-term OIR color variability that we observe.
3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Keynote address presented by Dr. Jedidah Isler
Blazing Quasars and Blazing Trails: A Journey of Discovery
This talk blends cutting edge scientific research with personal storytelling to explore Dr. Isler’s life-long journey of discovery. As an astrophysicist, Dr. Isler’s work on supermassive, hyperactive black holes known as “blazars” is part of an ongoing effort to better understand the processes of celestial particle acceleration. Reviewing some of the most exciting recent discoveries in the field, this talk will address how Einstein’s theories of relativity continue to shape the way that scientists study the universe. Dr. Isler will also address her experiences as a trailblazer in her field, offering an encouraging and practical set of strategies for students currently in the midst of their own educational journeys. Building upon her passions for both science and promoting the empowerment of underrepresented groups in STEM fields, Dr. Isler will share her stories and observations of what it means to see the world around us without limits.
Templeton Campus Center, Council Chamber
7:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
Student Research Poster Session
4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Templeton Campus Center, Stamm
Students present their summer work on topics as diverse as parallel computing and security, reaction-diffusion equations with applications in chemistry, social motivation and acoustic communication, and arachnids in the Caribbean.
All events are free and open to the public. Daily visitors parking permits are available at the entrance marked information. Parking is free after 7 pm.
Please feel free to share your experience on Twitter using the hashtag #lcscience.