For immediate release: 01/25/2011 | NR-11-01-04

LLNL offers another superb season of Saturday Science lectures

Linda A Lucchetti, LLNL, (925) 422-5815,

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:

  • Feb. 5: "Proton Therapy for Cancer: Addressing a Big Problem With a Small Machine," by George Caporaso, LLNL scientist, and teacher Tom Shefler.
  • Feb. 12: 'It's Gust About Time: Harnessing the Wind for Our Future Energy Needs," by Jeff Mirocha and Sonia Wharton, LLNL scientists, and teacher Christine Tyler.
  • Feb 19: "Withstanding Climate Change: You Can Change the World," by Dean Williams, LLNL scientist, and teachers Roger Johnson and Tiffany Burkel.
  • March 5: "Superheavy Elements: Search for the End of the Periodic Table," by Ken Moody, LLNL scientist, and teacher Dean Reese.
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 Web or contact Richard Farnsworth at (925) 422-5059.

More Information

Founded in 1952, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory provides solutions to our nation's most important national security challenges through innovative science, engineering and technology. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is managed by Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration.