Category Archives: Lawrence Berkeley Lab

Scientists Tackle Big Questions at Lawrence Berkeley Lab

8232Every discovery and invention starts with a question.

Find out how scientists dive into the big questions that drive their research in two video presentations from Lawrence Berkeley Lab’s Science at the Theater.

“Questions drive science. Questions that provoke other questions keep science fresh and alive,” explains host Jeff Miller. “In fact, if you think about the root of the word question – quest – it’s really about a journey, it’s about momentum, it’s about a zest for answers that scientists have and need to keep propelling their research forward.” In short, “The questions never stop – and neither do we.”

82325 Big Questions: Dark Energy, Electron Microscopy, Energy from Ocean Waves, Climate and Building a Tabletop Accelerator

In this presentation, scientists explore the following questions: Is learning about dark energy going to get us anywhere? When I’m a scientist in 10 years, what will I be able to see with an electron microscope that you can’t see now? Is it possible to power all of San Francisco on ocean wave energy? Is climate change going to kill all the forests in California? What can a tabletop accelerator do that a big one, like the LHC, can’t do?

82325 Big Questions: Cancer and Aging, Radiation, Biofuels, Supernovae, Urban Food Initiative

In this presentation, scientists explore the following questions: What causes age-related disease? How can we see radion and how harmful is it? Do insects contain the secrets to sustainable food and energy production? Do we need math to blow up a star? Is sustainable urban food production possible?

Browse more videos from Science at the Theater to get all the latest research from Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and explore cutting edge science with leading scientists.

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How Hot Will It Get?

As this scorching summer winds down, take some time to reflect on the extreme heat of these past few summers, with 2010 and 2012 contending to be the first and third the hottest summers on record in the U.S., respectively.

It’s hard to argue against global warming in the midst of a heatwave, but how directly does this extreme weather correlate to our carbon consumption? And what does a rapidly warming planet mean for our future?

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Science at the Theater series includes presentations from climate scientists Bill Collins, Margaret Torn, Michael Wehner, and Jeff Chambers and UC Berkeley economist, Max Aufhammer, who discuss the pace and consequences of climate change.

Learn about the latest global warming projections from the experts in “How Hot Will It Get?.”

See what other cutting edge science videos are available in the Science at the Theater Series!

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Seven Big Ideas – Science at the Theater

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory presents Seven Big Ideas – 8 new episodes from the popular Science at the Theater series.

The first episode, Seven Big Ideas, features seven Berkeley lab scientists who have eight minutes each to introduce their revolutionary projects to the audience.

Meet Blake Simmons, who has been working on a plan to replace a barrel of oil with plants and microbes. But not just one barrel of oil, he says, his idea is intended to replace all the barrels of oil that keep countries all over the world moving.

He explains that oil produces many products for our carbon economy, such as gasoline, diesel, polymers and more. In order to undo our reliance on oil we have to find substitutes for all of these different products that the oil produces.

Watch “Seven Big Ideas” to hear about his plan to make replacing oil affordable and sustainable, as well as other game changing ideas from Aindrila Mukhopadhyay, Bill Jagust, and more!

See what other episodes are in the Science at the Theater series!

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Between Inventor and Invention

Where do technology innovations come from? We associate revolutionary inventions like the light bulb with their inventors, attributing the solitary genius of people like Thomas Edison with the production of something that has changed society.

Professor Andrew Hargadon of UC Davis challenges this view of innovation, in the hopes of demystifying the cumulative process of modern inventions.

With increasing demands for more, faster solutions to the environmental and social dilemas of today, Hargadon explores the history of the light bulb’s invention in order to reveal the distorted way that the public construes the process of innovation.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory presents Hargadon’s talk “Long Fuse, Big Bang: Thomas Edison, Electricity, and the Locus of Innovation” which goes to show that innovation might not work the way you think it does.

For more videos from Professor Hargadon, click here.

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Listen to Voices from History…Literally

Vitaliy Fadeyev (left) and Carl Haber with some of the wax cylinders,
and acetate and shellac discs, which will be studied with methods under
development at Berkeley Lab.

Imagine a voice reaching across more than a hundred years to whisper right into your ear. What if this voice belonged to a significant historical figure who, until now, had remained mute to the generations that followed?

That’s exactly what a team of digital restoration experts and physicists, including Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory‘s Carl Haber, did when it melded science with high-resolution digital restoration techniques to turn back the sands of time and restore the voice of Alexander Graham Bell from a previously unplayable recording. The restoration process will lead to the recovery of many fragile recordings, allowing us to form a deeper connection to history.

Carl Haber and his colleagues at the UC-operated Berkeley Lab have been plugging away at their technique to bring century-old recordings of music and spoken word from the Library of Congress back to life.  You can learn all about the science behind this amazing process from Haber himself in these two UCTV videos from 2005 and 2009.

“Imaging the Voices of the Past: Using Physics to Restore Early Sound Recordings”

“Hot Technology – Cool Science”

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