Sharlene Denos will present the molecular visualization tool VMD, created by the Theoretical and Computational Biophysics Group of Klaus Schulten in the Physics Department and Beckman Institute. This software was developed for biophysicists who want to model and analyze complex systems of biological molecules. Sharlene will explain how she has also used it to teach basic biochemistry and genetics concepts to high school students.

We have built an inexpensive battery powered wireless laboratory system that allows students to do hands-on physics activities outside the classroom, guided by their own computer. The system, called IOLab, combines flexible software with a wireless data acquisition platform containing an array of sensors to sample and display real-time measurements of position, velocity, acceleration, force, rotation rate, orientation, magnetic fields, voltages, light intensity, sound intensity, pressure, and temperature.

The history of the universe tells us a lot about the properties of the stuff that it contains.  Of particular interest are the dark matter and dark energy, which together comprise 96% of the total energy.  I will describe the experimental and theoretical work in Physics and Astronomy, and at NCSA that hope to illuminate these dark" topics."

Professor Morten Lundsgaard will demonstrate a hands-on activity that simulates a way that astronomers look for exoplanets.

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