In the News...
As part of the 11th annual Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series, Helen Quinn, Ph.D.
, of Stanford University, will discuss The Many Mysteries of Antimatter
, an illustrated, non-technical lecture, Wednesday, March 10, from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
in the Smithwick Theatre at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills
. Admission is free and the public is invited. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Arrive early to locate parking.
Antimatter is just like matter with all its properties reversed. But when antimatter meets a matching amount of matter, they destroy each other, both turning suddenly into energy. Scientists think there may have been equal amount of matter and antimatter in the early universe, and yet today we have lots of matter and very little antimatter. How and when that imbalance developed is one of the great mysteries in understanding the underlying properties of the universe.
Dr. Quinn, who is co-author of the definitive popular book on antimatter, will discuss the history of our understanding of antimatter and how we use the little bit of antimatter around today to study some of the highest energy processes among the stars and galaxies. One particularly interesting possible source of antimatter is the annihilation or decay of "dark matter" particles
, mysterious material that is thought to make more of the universe than regular matter. She will also discuss ongoing antimatter experiments that are helping to put limits on the nature and behavior of dark matter.
Dr. Quinn is professor of physics at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center
and assistant to SLAC's director for education and outreach. She has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences
and is a former president of the American Physical Society
. Her book, The Mystery of the Missing Antimatter
(2008, Princeton University Press), is an engaging introduction to the world of particle physics.
The free lecture series is sponsored by the Foothill College Astronomy Program
, NASA Ames Research Center
, SETI Institute
and Astronomical Society of the Pacific
. Past lectures from the series are available online
Visitors must purchase a campus parking permit for $2 from yellow dispensers in student lots. Parking lots 1, 7 and 8
provide stair and no-stair access to the theatre. For more information, access www.foothill.edu
or call (650) 949-7888.