Dates, Speakers Announced for Spring 2019 Neighborhood Lecture Series

Left: Color-coded image of the strength of Earth’s gravitational field at its surface courtesy of NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) mission. Center: Photo of a Danish wind farm courtesy of Fxp42 via CC license. Right: Image showing shock compression of a meteorite sample courtesy of GL's Sally June Tracy.
Wednesday, February 27, 2019 

The Department of Terrestrial Magnetism (DTM) and Geophysical Laboratory (GL) host Neighborhood Lecture events at the Carnegie Institution for Science's beautiful Broad Branch Road (BBR) campus in Northwest Washington, DC. BBR Neighborhood Lectures provide an opportunity to get up close and personal with DTM and GL scientists. These lectures begin at 6:30 p.m. and last for approximately one hour, followed by a brief question and answer period.


Carnegie Science President Dr. Eric Isaacs presents, "Addressing climate change with science-based energy solutions" | Thursday, March 28, 2019, 6:30 p.m.

As extreme weather, rising seas, and severe droughts bring home the reality of global climate change, we are increasingly aware of the world's pressing need for carbon-free energy sources and reliable, affordable energy storage systems.

Already, we're seeing the forefront of a new energy economy, with Denmark generating almost half of its power through wind energy and California moving toward its goal of operating on 100 percent clean energy by 2045. We also are gaining a deeper, more-nuanced understanding of the highly specific local impacts of pollution from shortened life expectancy to coral reef bleaching. But we still face daunting obstacles in our search for new materials and technologies that will allow us to generate and store the energy we need—while we attempt to repair the environmental damage we have inflicted on our planet.

To address this crisis, our scientists' work must inform pragmatic, effective policies that will create effective incentives for utilities and consumers to shift away from dependence on fossil fuels and embrace a new energy future. These are enormous challenges that will require us to work together on an international scale and quickly pursue effective scientific energy solutions that will address the global climate crisis—while we still can.

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DTM's Dr. Hélène Le Mével presents "The gravity of volcanoes: using gravity data to probe magma reservoirs" | Thursday, April 25, 2019, 6:30 p.m.

Gravity, the fundamental force that shaped our planet, varies across the Earth's surface, both from place to place and over time. For more than three centuries, scientists have made gravity measurements to define the shape of the Earth. Today, very precise measurements of gravity provide crucial information on the mass distribution and transport within the planet. In this talk, Le Mével will highlight the long history of the determination of the gravity field, from the first field expeditions to the era of satellite measurements, and will discuss the evolution of the instrumentation. She will then show how gravity studies are used to image magmatic systems under volcanoes and their great potential for investigating magma dynamics leading up to eruptions.

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GL's Dr. Sally June Tracy presents, "Shocking minerals: from meteorite impacts to exoplanets" | Thursday, May 23, 2019, 6:30 p.m.

In shock-wave experiments, high-powered lasers or guns are used to send a supersonic pressure wave through a sample. This type of dynamic compression can generate immense pressure and allows for the study of impact phenomena in real time. These experiments have wide applications for Earth and planetary science, ranging from understanding the effects of meteorite impacts to studying the structure of planetary interiors. Dynamic experiments are short-lived, generally having a duration of tens of billionths of a second. This requires the development of ultrafast experiments. In this talk, Tracy will review new results using high-intensity pulsed x-rays to examine the crystal structure of shock- compressed minerals.

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Lectures are free and open to the public but registration is recommended. Doors open to the public at 6:00 p.m. with light refreshments. Carnegie's BBR campus is located at the intersection of Broad Branch Road and 32nd Street in northwest Washington, DC. Parking is available on campus and accessible via Jocelyn and 32nd Streets. Street parking also is available. The campus is a short, three-block walk from Connecticut Avenue and two blocks south of Military Road.