Wednesday, March 31, 2010

"STEM Sell" - March 31, 2010

STEM Sell, the radio program hosted by Brian Utter and me and dedicated to STEM issues, had its most recent airing on March 31st. Our guest was the Physics Department's own Kevin Giovanetti. A recording of the show will soon be posted on the STEM Sell website, Kevin discussed some of the physics that will be explored by the Large Hadron Collider. We also discussed with him some of the things he and JMU students are doing at Jefferson Lab in Newport News.

Some of the other things we talked about were:
  • Astronomy Night at JMU on April 2nd
  • Replacing bar codes using radio frequency identification technology and the possible replacement of cashiers
  • Genetically enchanced muscle-trout and the troubles they might cause the ecosystem
  • A mini-Ice Age that followed the last Ice Age that ended 13,000 years ago due to the melting of a glacier
  • A small satellite using a solar sail not only for gaining momentum, as you'd normally expect, but also for a relatively gentle slowing down due to collisions within the extremely rarefied atmosphere
  • Computer simulations of comets delivering glancing blows to planetary surfaces and, in turn, the possible generation of biochemical molecular precursors within the comets
  • The discovery that identical twins don't have identical sets of bacteria within their intestines, a finding that resulted from the in-depth study of their fec. . . well, perhaps I've said too much.

If you want to follow up on any of these, send Brian and me an e-mail at And let me remind that you have a brain--don't be afraid to use it!