Podcaster: Dr David James
Organization: The Society of Physics Students (SPS) at The University of Central Arkansas
Description: As innocent as ‘cosmic dust’ may seem, it helps to answer some of the most interesting space physics questions we have today. At the research center of the University of Colorado is a building that we share during the summer with hundreds of kids learning about science. however, what we do here is anything but child’s play. In this lab is CU’s Institute for Modeling Plasma, Atmospheres, and Cosmic dusT (IMPACT) where there is a 3 million volt dust accelerator capable of launching tiny dust particles at speeds of over 100km/s. Our focus of study is plasma and high velocity dust in the solar system. From astronaut safety, to planetary footprints, to the origins of our solar system and even life itself, these small objects we call dust hold the key to important scientific questions. As a part of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP), IMPACT’s small team of 8 scientists and engineers (with help from approximately 20 CU students) have worked on missions throughout the solar system (the Moon, Saturn, Europa, Pluto, etc..) to use those keys and help open the answers. This talk will focus on the facilities we have in the lab and the missions that we have worked on to find those answers.
Bio: The Society of Physics Students (SPS) at The University of Central Arkansas is incorporates outreach, demonstrations, tutoring and guest speakers into our SPS Chapter.
Dr. David James is Calibration Engineer/CU IMPACT Lab Manager
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365 Days of Astronomy
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