No prior knowledge of math or science required.
Radioactivity and Electric Power
Few things are more frightening than the unknown. Science can bring some understanding of the unknown and thus lessen that fear, or arouse action against a justified fear and provide analysis of the price to be paid for abating the danger. This generality is amply illustrated by the issues surrounding nuclear fuel, compared to coal or other fossil fuels, as a means of generating electric power. The recent events at the Fukushima power station in Japan have again brought the fear of radioactivity to public consciousness. What is radioactivity? What is the mechanism by which it is used to generate electric power, and how does it compare to mechanisms using coal, oil, natural gas, and other fossil fuels? What is the difference between exposure to radiation from a nuclear power station and exposure to radiation from the sun? These and related questions will be discussed, and the basic science presented.
Instructor: Barbara-Ann G. Lewis.
Ms. Lewis is Associate Professor Emeritus, Civil and Environmental Engineering, at Northwestern University and a former Environmental Scientist at Argonne National Laboratory.
When: Sun, 2/3/2013, 12:15 - 2:30 p.m.
Where: Latino/Hispanic Community Meeting Room B, Main Library
100 Larkin St.
This free program is co-sponsored by the Business, Science & Technology Center of San Francisco Public Library and the University of the Commons.
Check uotc.org for a complete list of free University of the Commons classes.
Other upcoming topics and dates for the Sundays With Science series:
- Sunday, Feb. 10 Global Warming and the “Goldilocks Zone”
- Sunday, Feb. 17 How Safe is Safe, and Who Decides?
- Sunday, Feb. 24 What’s Scientific About Soil?