We’re back with Science Fair, Bwog’s weekly curated list of interesting STEM-related talks, symposiums, and events happening on campus. For science and non-science majors alike, our list will bring you events that will satisfy your scientific curiosity for everything from astronomy to zoology, and everything in between.

If your group is hosting a STEM-related event, please email science@bwog.com about it to be featured in Science Fair! 

For anyone, related-majors and non-majors alike:

Finding a Miracle Cure: The Science Behind Medicinal Botany (Hosted by Columbia Science Review)

  • Thursday, February 13, 7:15-8:15 PM, Milbank Hall room 328, click here for more information
  • “Ever thought about how we have come so far in developing medicine today from plants in the world around us? Have you ever wondered whether traditional medicine actually has any value? Join us at CSR’s ‘Finding a Miracle Cure: The Science Behind Medicinal Botany’ to discuss the historical, cultural, and scientific implications of medicinal botany and learn about the research of experts in the field! (And observe a real medicinal herb demonstration too!!)”

Columbia Astronomy Outreach Presents: How Gravitational Waves pointed us to the Origin of Gold (Brian Metzger, Columbia University)

  • Friday, February 14, 7:00pm, Pupin Hall room 301, click here for more information
  • “Two summers ago, the LIGO interferometers detected gravitational waves from coalescing neutron stars for the first time. (Neutron stars are the dense cores left over when massive stars explode at the end of their lives). This discovery initiated a frenzied search for a visual ‘afterglow’ to the merger using dozens of telescopes on the ground and in space. Within hours, fading blue light, unlike that ever seen before, was discovered from a galaxy 100 million light-years away. In this lecture, Brian Metzger will discuss the monumental importance of the discovery.”

Quantum entanglement through the computational lens (Henry Yuen, University of Toronto)

  • Monday, February 10, 11:40 AM – 12:40 PM, Schapiro CEPSR, 530 W. 120 St., room 750, click here for more information
  • “Entanglement is the famous feature of quantum mechanics where far-away particles can exhibit what Einstein called “spooky correlations” — correlations that cannot be explained by classical physics. Today, the goal to understand, create, and control complex forms of quantum entanglement is expanding the frontiers of physics, computer science, and engineering. Computer science has provided potent concepts and tools with which to study quantum entanglement. In this talk, I will highlight the power of the computational lens on this physical phenomenon by describing two recent research directions.”

Intended for more advanced students of the given subject (but still open to all interested students):

Arlin P. S. Crotts Radical Hypothesis Lecture: Dark Stars (Katherine Freese, University of Texas at Austin)

  • Wednesday, February 12, 4:05 PM, Pupin Hall room 1402, click here for more information
  • “The first phase of stellar evolution in the history of the Universe may be Dark Stars (DS), powered by dark matter heating rather than by nuclear fusion. Weakly Interacting Massive Particles which can be their own antipartners can collect inside the first stars and annihilate to produce a heat source that powers the stars. A new stellar phase results, a Dark Star, which lasts as long as there is dark matter fuel, with lifetimes from millions to billions of years. Dark Stars, while made primarily of hydrogen and helium, are powered by dark matter. They are very bright diffuse puffy objects and grow to be very massive. In fact, they can grow up to ten million solar masses with up to ten billion solar luminosities. Such objects can be seen in James Webb Space Telescope. Once the dark matter fuel is exhausted, the DS becomes a heavy main sequence star and eventually collapses to form massive black holes that may provide seeds for supermassive black holes observed at early times as well as in galaxies today.”