Jan. 26, 2011

LLNL offers another superb season of Saturday Science lectures

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's popular lecture series, "Science on Saturday," returns Feb. 5 and runs through March 5. This year's talks cover a wide range of current topics -- using proton therapy for cancer; harnessing the wind for energy needs; withstanding climate change; and the search for the end of the periodic table.

The lectures are free of charge and will be held in the Bankhead Theater located at 2400 First St. in Livermore. Two presentations are offered at 9:30 a.m. and 11:15 a.m.

Each lecture highlights cutting-edge Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) science presented by leading Lab researchers joined by master high school science teachers.

Kicking off the series of four Saturday sessions is "Proton Therapy for Cancer: Addressing a Big Problem With a Small Machine," presented by LLNL scientist George Caporaso and teacher Tom Shefler.

This lecture will discuss the role radiation plays in the treatment of cancer, and in particular, cover how the use of energetic proton beams could improve cancer treatment. Unfortunately, this type of treatment has limited availability due to the large size and cost of current proton therapy systems. Caporaso and Shefler will discuss a new type of particle accelerator that holds promise of greatly miniaturizing proton treatment systems and making this treatment more widely available will be described.

Here is the complete schedule:

Lectures and demonstrations are targeted to middle and high school students.

The lectures are sponsored by LLNL's Science Education Program. Seating is on a first-come basis. There is no pre-registration.

For more information about Science on Saturday, directions and a map, go to the Science on Saturday Website or contact Richard Farnsworth at (925) 422-5059.