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UT researchers take Toledo library patrons on ‘Quantum Leap’

Members of the public are invited to learn more about research conducted at The University of Toledo at a new panel discussion series that will begin Tuesday, Sept. 27.

“Quantum Leap: Science Made Easy,” a series of presentations co-sponsored by the University and the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library, will bring UT research into the public view with talks from a variety of researchers and scientists.

“Our goal is to try to bring our research to the community to show why it’s important and why it matters,” said Dr. Karen Bjorkman, dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Distinguished University Professor of Astronomy, and co-presenter at the first event. “We have a responsibility, as scientists funded by the public through the National Science Foundation, NASA and other federal agencies, to tell people about what we’ve learned, and to share our exciting discoveries and the broader meaning of what we are learning about our universe.”

The presentations will take place in the McMaster Center at the Main Library branch downtown. The first one will begin at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27.

“What we’ve got in mind is an interactive evening in that after the presentation, there will be 20 minutes or so of question and answer,” said Meg Delaney, the library’s Humanities Department manager and an organizer of the event. “We’ve also provided for ample time at the end for refreshments and further conversation in the McMaster lobby for people to get to know each other, find out more about the presentation, or ask more specific questions.”

The theme of the first panel discussion is “Discovering New Worlds” and features researchers from UT’s Department of Physics and Astronomy to discuss the use of telescopes in space and on Earth all around the world for research.

“The presentation will give the community an opportunity to get closer to our research than they would normally be able to,” said Dr. J.D. Smith, UT assistant professor of astronomy and panel member for the first discussion. “It’s going to be a great way for people with burning questions about the universe to come talk to Toledo-area researchers who are actively studying everything from galaxy formation to exo-planets.”

Other members of the panel for the astronomy discussion are Dr. Tom Megeath and Dr. Rupali Chandar, UT associate professors of astronomy, and Dr. Michael Cushing, UT assistant professor of astronomy and director of the Ritter Planetarium.

The second presentation in the series will focus on solar cell research take place Monday, Nov. 14, with Dr. Al Compaan, UT professor emeritus of physics.