Fifty Recent Colloquia

Using Cat States in a Microwave Cavity for Quantum Information2015-06-03

  • Schoelkopf, Robert
  • Dramatic progress has been made in the last decade and a half towards realizing solid-state systems for quantum information processing with superconducting quantum circuits. Artificial atoms (or qubi ... [MORE]

Fracking - Evil Scourge or Game-Changing Technology?2015-05-27

  • Veil, John
  • This seminar will describe the size and scope of the U.S. oil and gas industry, and what impact oil and gas production using hydraulic fracturing has made on domestic and international energy supply. ... [MORE]

Fast Radio Bursts - the Story So Far2015-05-20

  • Lormier, Duncan
  • I will describe a brief history of discovery and some exciting recent developments in the world of pulsars and fast radio bursts. Pulsars, rapidly rotating highly magnetized neutron stars, were disco ... [MORE]

Project Dyna-Soar: a Shuttle Ahead of Its Time2015-05-18

  • Teitel, Amy Shira
  • The Air Force's Dyna-Soar might have been the first spacecraft to carry astronauts into orbit, launching atop a Titan missile and gliding unpowered to a runway landing, had history taken a very diffe ... [MORE]

The MESSENGER Mission to Mercury2015-05-11

  • O'Shaughnessy, Dan
  • MESSENGER (MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging) is the first spacecraft to achieve orbit about Mercury. Designed to operate for one Earth-year in Mercury orbit, MESSENGER ex ... [MORE]

Early Results from the MAVEN Mission to Mars2015-05-06

  • Jakosky, Bruce
  • The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft has been orbiting Mars since 21 September 2014 and collecting data in science mode since 16 November 2014. The science objectives of the ... [MORE]

How the Future Was: Visual Speculations of Tomorrow and Beyond2015-05-04

  • Di Fate, Vincent
  • This is a visual survey of how images in the popular media helped pave our way into space. The presentation will include glimpses of Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon and other fictional adventurers from the ... [MORE]

From Medicine to Space: Impact of the Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) on Society2015-04-20

  • Baliga, Jayant
  • Considered the most important innovation in power electronics during the last 35 years, the Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) has had an enormous impact on creating a sustainable society by en ... [MORE]

Eta Carinae: Astrophysical Laboratory for the Study of the Most Massive Stars2015-04-15

  • Gull, Theodore
  • Eta Carinae has fascinated astronomers since brightening in the 1840s to rival Sirius but then fading to the unaided eye. Today the Homunculus, a massive, dusty, molecular bipolar shell expands outwa ... [MORE]

Measuring the Universe2015-04-08

  • Lawrence, Charles
  • In less than a century we have advanced from knowing almost nothing about the Universe as a whole to measuring it with exquisite precision. In this process, the cosmic microwave background has played ... [MORE]

Coronal Mass Ejections: from a Novelty to a Natural Hazard2015-04-01

  • Gopalswamy, Nat
  • Coronal mass ejections (CMEs) were discovered only in 1971, but there were indications of such mass ejections starting from the late 1800s. Only in the 1990s it was realized that CMEs are the primary ... [MORE]

Infinite Worlds: NASA in Photographs2015-03-30

  • Soluri, Michael
  • The Hubble Space Telescope has been orbiting our blue dot of a water world for 25 years. It's engineering and scientific ability in capturing the ancient light of the universe has been the result of ... [MORE]

Living Fossils2015-03-25

  • Werth, Alexander
  • Charles Darwin first coined the term "living fossil" to describe archaic forms, including lungfishes and horseshoe crabs, which seem not to have changed since their appearance in the fossil record hu ... [MORE]

Storm and Surge Risk to Major Coastal Cities in a Changing Climate2015-03-23

  • Emanuel, Kerry
  • Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy remind us that many of our coastal cities are vulnerable to hurricanes, and that much of the damage comes from surges that accompany the storms. But history is too short ... [MORE]

CubeSats: Innovation and Risk in the (tiny) New Space Frontier2015-03-16

  • Antunes, Alex "Sandy"
  • As tiny 1-liter CubeSats go from a handful to hundreds launched or proposed each year, we look at why it's both very easy and very hard to launch your own personal satellite mission. Popular among am ... [MORE]

The Future of Cancer Research2015-03-11

  • Gottesman, Michael
  • Enormous progress has been made in the past three decades in defining the molecular and genetic basis of cancer and in understanding the "hallmarks of cancer" that are the basis of its pathophysiolog ... [MORE]

The Interplanetary Transport Network2015-03-09

  • Folta, Dave
  • With careful trajectory planning, we can carry out missions that would otherwise be impossible with the rockets we have available. One familiar example of this method is the Voyager spacecraft, which ... [MORE]

Let it Rain and Snow: A Year of Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Mission Data2015-03-04

  • Skofronick-Jackson, Gail
  • Water is fundamental to life on Earth. Knowing where and how much rain and snow fall globally is vital to understanding how weather and climate impact our Earth's water and energy cycles. The Global ... [MORE]

The Slide Rule: 350+ Years from Napier through the Manned Apollo Missions2015-03-02

  • Chamberlain, Edwin J
  • The slide rule -- a simple yet ingenious computing device -- was used by many engineers, scientists, and mathematicians as their primary means of computation for over 350 years, until the appearance ... [MORE]

Desert Worlds: the Dry Limit for Life2015-02-11

  • Diruggiero, Jocelyne
  • Microorganisms have inhabited the Earth for 3.4 billion years of its history, and they are key for the evolution of its major geochemical cycles and the composition of its atmosphere. Planets and moo ... [MORE]

Engineering at NASA HQ2015-02-10

  • Hyde, Tupper
  • I served as the Chief Engineer for the Science Mission Directorate (SMD) at NASA HQ for two plus years and have recently returned to Goddard. I thought the SE interest community at Goddard would be i ... [MORE]

Sensors for On-Orbit Docking2015-02-09

  • Granade, Stephen
  • Docking spacecraft autonomously while on orbit can provide many benefits, from uncrewed resupply of the ISS to robotic servicing of craft like the Hubble Space Telescope. However, autonomous docking ... [MORE]

Social Implications of Brain Emulation2015-02-02

  • Hanson, Robin
  • Can we foresee the future? Some say that while we can project some social trends, and dimly see outlines of some disruptive future techs, we just can't foresee social implications of disruptive techs ... [MORE]

Dead Dinosaurs and Nuclear Wars2015-01-28

  • Toon, Owen Brian
  • Sixty six million years ago a mountain sized chunk of rock traveling at more than 10 times the muzzle velocity of an assault rifle, slammed into the shallow sea covering what is now the Yucatan Penin ... [MORE]

Saturn's Icy Satellites2015-01-21

  • Spencer, John
  • In its ten years in Saturn orbit, NASA's Cassini mission has fleshed out our previous rudimentary knowledge of Saturn's satellites to provide a comprehensive picture of these remarkably diverse world ... [MORE]

Earth's Unique Continents2015-01-07

  • Rudnick, Roberta
  • The Earth is the only planet in our solar system with continents. Continents provide the habitat in which our species evolved, as well as the sustenance we need to survive. Yet how continents form, a ... [MORE]

Risk Classification and Risk-based Safety and Mission Assurance2014-12-15

  • Leitner, Jesse
  • Recent activities to revamp and emphasize the need to streamline processes and activities for Class D missions across the agency have led to various interpretations of Class D, including the lumping ... [MORE]

Geeks, Hacker Culture, and Anonymous2014-12-10

  • Coleman, Gabriella
  • Drawing on fieldwork among Free and Open Source software hackers and the Anonymous protest movement, I will discuss some attributes of hacker and geek activism that set their actions apart from other ... [MORE]

Seeing Other Earths: Progress in Technologies for Imaging Extrasolar Rocky Planets from Space2014-12-08

  • Kasdin, Jeremy
  • With the combined results of radial velocity surveys and Kepler, we now know that there is an abundance of planets, particularly small, rocky planets. These data provide tantalizing hints that there ... [MORE]

An overview of the Center for Hybrid Multicore Productivity Research (CHMPR) at UMBC2014-12-03

  • Yesha, Yelena
  • The Center for Hybrid Multicore Productivity (CHMPR) has been a part of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Industry and University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC) Program since 2009. Currentl ... [MORE]

Liquid Natural Gas in the United States: A History2014-12-01

  • Hrastar, John
  • When natural gas was first discovered in Appalachia in the 19th century, its development was slow at first because it couldn't be moved easily. Unlike oil and coal, gas could be moved only by pipelin ... [MORE]

The Science and Exploration of Europa2014-11-19

  • Procktor, Louise
  • Jupiter's moon Europa has proved to be the most enigmatic of water worlds - it likely contains a deep salty ocean beneath its youthful ice crust, and may have conditions conducive to life. This talk ... [MORE]

Nuclear Rockets for the Future2014-11-17

  • Eberstein, Igor
  • This talk will describe a nuclear powered spaceship for use in traveling to Mars. The ship would be assembled in Earth orbit. At first, the ship would be used at first for commuting between the orbit ... [MORE]

How the Search for MH370 Reveals the Ubiquity (and Limitations) of Surveillance from Space2014-11-12

  • McDowell, Jonathan
  • When the Malaysian airliner MH370 went missing in March 2014,a wide range of spaceborne assets took part in the extensive search from wreckage. The public were surprised when orbiting satellites fail ... [MORE]

Cyber Security2014-11-12

  • Butler, Bill
  • Our collective privacy and data security are being challenged in many surprising and alarming ways. Despite our individual and corporate efforts to protect this data we are falling short. This talk i ... [MORE]

Life of a Snowflake2014-11-05

  • Johnson, Ben
  • The humble snowflake, oft noted for its unparalleled beauty and elegance, also plays a critical role in ensuring our continued survival as a species. Falling snow is a truly global phenomenon -- and ... [MORE]

Cloud Computing2014-11-05

  • Bohn, Robert
  • Cloud computing is a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that c ... [MORE]

A Celebration of Fifty Years of Satellite Laser Ranging2014-10-29

  • Degnan, John
  • In Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR), a short laser pulse is transmitted from a ground station to an orbiting satellite and reflected back to the station, which measures the roundtrip time of flight and ... [MORE]

How to Bootstrap Technology: Building an Ocean-Going Polynesian Canoe from Scratch2014-10-20

  • Herman, Douglas
  • The settling of the Island Pacific more than 1,000 years ago is one of the greatest adventures of human history. Using double-hulled voyaging canoes built with Stone-Age tools and navigating by stars ... [MORE]

The End Fate of Our Solar System2014-10-15

  • Kalirai, Jason
  • Like humans, stars are born, they evolve, and eventually they die. For most stars, the stellar life cycle is dominated by quiescent phases such as the hydrogen-burning stage (e.g., our Sun today) and ... [MORE]

Towards a Reference Architecture for Archival Systems: Use Case with Product Data2014-10-15

  • Barbau, Raphael
  • Long-term preservation of product data is imperative for aerospace, aeronautics, shipbuilding, and other industries. A product data archive description should include the business functions the archi ... [MORE]

See the Ball, Be the Ball: How to Find and Characterize Planets Beyond our Solar System2014-10-08

  • McElwain, Michael
  • New technologies enable the detection and characterization of potentially habitable worlds around other stars, and recent scientific studies define a framework that can be used to confirm (or refute) ... [MORE]

Overview of the MAVEN mission, its development challenges, and current project status as we fly around the Red Planet (and dodge comets)2014-10-07

  • Houghton, Martin
  • The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission was selected by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in 2008 for development as the second Mars Scout mission. The mission laun ... [MORE]

Manufacturing, Actuation, Sensing, and Control for Robotic Insects2014-10-06

  • Wood, Robert
  • As the characteristic size of a flying robot decreases, the challenges for successful flight revert to basic questions of fabrication, actuation, fluid mechanics, stabilization, and power - whereas s ... [MORE]

Chlorinated Organics in a Gale Crater Mudstone and the Imprint of an Ancient Fluvial Environment in 3 Billion Year Old Water Found in a 4 Billion Year Old Martian Rock2014-10-01

  • Mahaffy, Paul
  • One Mars year after landing the one-ton Curiosity Rover in Gale Crater, Mars continues to surprise. Data from the Goddard Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) experiment combined with that from the Alpha Pa ... [MORE]

Invisibility, the Theory and Practice, or A Sufficiently Advanced Science Can Be Even Better Than Magic!2014-09-29

  • Ashmead, John
  • We'll look at the history, theory, and practice of invisibility. We'll start with Wells's The Invisible Man (which has some surprisingly accurate physics); look at the uses of invisibility in war an ... [MORE]

Brilliant Blunders2014-09-23

  • Livio, Mario
  • Even the greatest scientists have made some serious blunders. "Brilliant Blunders" concerns the evolution of life on Earth, of the Earth itself, of stars, and of the universe as a whole. In this talk ... [MORE]

Tragedy to Triumph - Rebuilding the Majestic Roundhouse at the B and O Railroad Museum2014-09-22

  • Coleman, Pamela S.
  • The presentation will cover a brief history of the B and O Railroad Museum, an overview of the Museum campus, the original construction of the Roundhouse and previous renovations to the historic fabr ... [MORE]

Overview of JPSS GRAVITE system2014-09-17

  • Jain, Peyush
  • The Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) is the Nation's next-generation operational environmental satellite system that acquires and distributes global environmental data from multiple polar-orbiting ... [MORE]