Join us for a taste of physics as we chat with two local scientists about their research!
Emily Gehrels, Harvard University
The power of self-assembly: Harnessing nature's toolkit to build tiny machines
Natural systems can build incredibly complicated structures just by mixing the right parts together in water. These structures (from cells to entire animals) can adapt their behavior when their environment changes. On the other hand, most products used today are built in specialized and expensive factories and only work in very specific conditions. I will talk about how we use lessons learned from nature to inexpensively build new structures that can respond to changes in their surroundings.
Rodolfo Montez Jr., Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
Cosmic Memento Mori: The End State of Sun-like Stars
A dying sun-like star ejects stellar material into the universe to create beautiful nebula that forms stunning space imagery. The shapes of nebula include wispy arcs, bullet-like projections, and pinched waists from which lobes emerge and the image colors are tied to the chemical content of the nebula. Altogether, the nebular shapes and colors revealed during the star's death throes provides a glimpse into the life of the star and also reminds us that our sun is heading to a similar fate.
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