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Lecture Previews

Catching Ghost Particles in Oil and Plastic: The NOvA Experiment

Monday at 3 p.m.

Allen Hall 318, University of Pittsburgh

Luke Corwin, a post-doctorate fellow at Indiana University, will present and discuss his recent research in the field of neutrinos and particle physics, emphasizing the NOvA experiment.

Corwin will discuss neutrinos in detail, as well as how he believes they are some of the most mysterious particles in the known universe.

Neutrinos are fundamental particles that weakly interact with other particles, and as a result are sometimes referred to as ghost particles. According to Corwin, particle physicists are actively trying to solve many unknowns about neutrinos, such as which neutrino type is heaviest and how they change from one type to another.

After his preliminary discussion on neutrinos, Corwin will delve into a talk about the NOvA experiment. This experiment is one of the latest generation of neutrino detection mechanisms being built to find out more about the particles. Currently, the mechanism is under construction at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in northern Minnesota. It will consist of a near and far detector composed mainly of PVC extrusions and scintillating mineral oil. Corwin’s lecture will review the motivation, current status, and future plans for this experiment.

Stones for Ihula: Rural Health Care Provision in Conflict-Affected Eastern Congo

Nov. 28 at 4:30 p.m.

Porter Hall 100 (Gregg Hall)

Paul Brockmann has worked with the international medical organization Médecins Sans Frontières, or Doctors Without Borders, since 2005. In this lecture, Brockmann will discuss the daily challenges he faces while in the international medical field. His talk will also feature a Q & A session and interactive segments.

Brockmann most recently managed one of the largest medical interventions in North Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo. His other assignments have included a short emergency response to the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake in China, as well as longer assignments in Sri Lanka, India, Nigeria, and China.

Brockmann joined Doctors Without Borders as a non-medical administrator after a 19-year career in magazine publishing in the United States.

This lecture is sponsored by the modern languages department, the Center for International Relations and Politics, and the Office of the Vice Provost for Education.

Maya Apocalypse: 1562 or 2012?

Nov. 28 at 6 p.m.

Rangos 1, University Center

Amara Solari and Matthew Restall will discuss the ongoing debate over the Mayan doomsday prediction. Solari is an assistant professor of art history and anthropology at Penn State University, and Restall is the Edwin Erle Sparks professor of colonial Latin American history, anthropology, and women’s studies at Penn State University.

Solari and Restall will argue that the prediction has become an international industry. They hope to explore whether there actually was an ancient Mayan prophecy that the world would end in 2012, and if not, how society’s obsession with the year 2012 came about. Solari and Restall co-authored the book 2012 and the End of the World: The Western Roots of the Maya Apocalypse, which will be the basis of their lecture.