Science Colloquium Lectures
Spring Series 2014
Science colloquium: Nuclear science and technology
All talks in Murdock 105, 4:10 pm, except as noted.
Refreshments available starting at 3:45 pm.
February 20, 2014 Mini-colloquia-- Introduction to science research at Linfield College:
- How do we use our genomes? Experimental approaches to understanding gene silencing Dr. Catherine Reinke
- Competitive graph coloring Dr. Chuck Dunn
- Graphene as a gas sensor Dr. Michael Crosser
- Symbiosis in the Sea: Examining bacterial interactions with marine sponges Dr. Jeremy Weisz
February 27, 2014 From radioactivity to quark-gluon plasma: an overview of nuclear physics. Dr. Joelle Murray, Physics Department, Linfield College
Abstract: Nuclear technologies span many areas of modern life, such as warfare, energy, and medicine. But where did all of these technologies and more originate? Beginning with the discovery of radioactivity through current areas research, nuclear physics has a long history of surprising, fundamental, and useful discoveries. This history provides a convenient framework for understanding what we know about nuclear physics, how that knowledge was developed, and the open questions being asked today.
March 6, 2014 Legal and not-so-legal highs: emerging designer drugs. Graham Rankin, Professor of forensic science, Marshall University
Abstract: Hallucinogenic products sold as “herbal incense” and “bath salts” have been the focus of news media and law enforcement in recent years. The composition of these products rapidly changes as legislation is enacted to limit or control their sale and distribution. This creates challenges to forensic chemists and toxicologists who are called upon to analyze such materials. Attendees will learn about these analytical and legal challenges and research underway to find solutions using a variety of instrumental techniques. Emphasis will be on 1) the analysis of such compounds as seized by law enforcement and submitted for forensic analysis; 2) recommendations of the draft SWGDRUG document on Analogs and NIST/DEA workshop on Emerging Drugs as to definition of “analog” and testimony in court.
March 13, 2014 Science Colloquium: Evaluation and optimization of radiation doses for liver cancer patients. Kevin Kauweloa, PhD candidate, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio (Linfield ’08).
In radiation therapy, it is very complicated to destroy the whole tumor without damaging nearby healthy organs. Many radiation oncologists base their radiation-prescriptions on the patient’s unique circumstances (e.g., tumor location, size, type, etc.) and also dose tolerances for nearby healthy organs. Currently, most radiation oncologists still use the physical dose (PD) instead of the biological effective dose (BED) within their prescriptions due to the PD still being used in dose tolerances tables. This complicates treatment plan evaluation of multi-phase liver treatments when there are two or more tumors at different locations. If the BED were used, the evaluation of the effectiveness of the treatment plan would be easier, even creating possible optimizations, as will be shown in my work.
April 3, 2014 TBA (health effects of radiation). Dr. Kathryn Higley, Professor of nuclear engineering and radiation physics, Oregon State University.
April 10, 2014 Nuclear weapons dismantlement verification. Dr. Glen Warren, Nuclear Physicist, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Radiation detection and nuclear sciences group.
Abstract: Nuclear weapon dismantlement verification presents a set of interesting challenges. One needs to A) ensure personnel safety, B) ensure physical and information security, C) confirm that the weapon has certain properties, D) confirm that the weapon has been dismantled and E) have confidence in the measurement results. The need to maintain security and have confidence in the results drives the design of the verification process. In this talk, I will share my experience working on a project to design a system that is capable of verifying nuclear weapon dismantlement, and I will attempt to convince the audience that the successful design is less focused on the technologies of the measurements and more focused on satisfying the security and verification challenges.
Saturday Apr 19, 2014 Fourth annual Willamette-Linfield senior thesis symposium, Murdock 105, 8:30am-3 pm
April 24 2014 TBA. Dr. Jarek Kaspar, Acting Assistant Professor, Department of Physics, U. of Washington.
May 1, 2014 Panel Discussion - The Ethics of Science: Using wartime innovations in a post-war setting.
Panel members: Jeremy Weisz (biology), Brian Gilbert (chemistry), Joelle Murray (physics), Patrick Cottrell (Political Science)
Abstract: War often drives new scientific innovations, as the immediate need for both new weapons and new ways to protect ourselves, stimulates investment in scientific research. However, the legacy of these innovations can have both positive and negative impacts on society. For example, the Haber process for producing ammonia was instrumental in gunpowder production during World War I, and drove the significant agricultural improvements following the war. Yet, the input of fertilizer has had major ecological impacts.