Coe professor to discuss physics discoveries in “Cosmic Café” community presentation

Extra: Rod Pritchard, Director of Marketing and Public Relations
(319) 399-8605 or

2012-04-17 13:16:34 - General

Coe Assistant Professor of Physics Ugur Akgun will be giving the first informal “Cosmic Café” talk entitled “The Dawn of New Physics at the Large Hadron Collider at the Cern Lab – on the Swiss-French border.”  The presentation will be held at the Jambayz Island Grill, 305 Second Ave. SE in Cedar Rapids on Saturday, April 21, beginning at 11 a.m.  Appetizers and beverages will be served, and the public is invited to participate at no charge.

The purpose of the “Cosmic Café” is to introduce the latest in scientific discovery to the community using an easily understandable approach.  After a short presentation, Akgun will lead discussion on the topic and answer questions from the attendees.

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the most ambitious scientific project that has ever been built.  It is a gigantic particle accelerator, buried 100 meters underground in a 17-mile tunnel at the border of Switzerland and France.  The goal of this proton smasher is to answer fundamental questions about the origin of mass, the nature of dark matter, black holes, and the earliest moments of the universe.

While LHC slams the protons together, 144 billion times every minute, four giant detectors watch closely to catch the glimpse of new information.  Akgun has worked on one of these detectors, Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS), since 1996.  His public lecture will provide an introduction to the science of particle physics, as well as the unknowns that physicists are trying to solve in the LHC.

The author of numerous scientific papers, Akgun is also member of SELEX and MIPP experiments at Fermi National Laboratory, in Batavia, Ill. His main expertise is on radiation hard light and particle detectors. Akgun also performs computational biophysics research, via molecular dynamics simulations of membrane proteins and viruses. The information obtained from these studies is used for computer-aided drug design efforts.

For more information on the presentation, call 319-399-8581.