Modern Tek News

Modern Tek News on KZSU, Stanford, 90.1 FM
Professor Roger Blandford

Professor Roger Blandford teaches physics at Stanford and at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory  and is Director of Stanford's  Kavli Institute of Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology. His research focuses on black hole astrophysics, cosmology, gravitational lensing, cosmic ray physics and compact stars.

Professor Blandford was awarded the Royal Astronomical Society's 2013 Gold Medal "on the basis of his varied and inspirational contributions to theoretical astrophysics, as well as his service to the astrophysics research community at an international level." 

In his interview with KZSU, Professor Blandford discussed the Kavli Institute's accomplishments since 2003.  He also discussed why cosmology and astronomy are exciting fields today.  He also explained Black Holes, Dark Matter and how they relate to Einstein's Theory of Relativity and the benefits we all derive from using modern telescopes like the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope.  Pofessor Blandford's interview is available  from this link.
Pofessor Robert Laughlin

Proessor Laughlin has taught Physics at Stanford since 1985.  Professor Laughlin was awarded the  the 1998 Nobel Prize in physics for "discovery of a new form of quantum fluid with fractionally charged excitations."

Professor Laughlin has varied interests from plasma physics to cosmology. His current esearch focuses on plasma and nuclear physics issues related to fusion and nuclear-pumped X-ray lasers

Professor Laughlin's books include:

Professor Robert Byer

Stanford Professor Robert Byer's students recently demonstrated their new breakthrough in science, a laser accelerator on a chip, that's smaller than a grain of rice.  In this interview, Professor Byer explained how they are now working on putting many of these laser accelerators
on a wafer, so that they build small, portable x-ray lasers that would revolutionize many applications in science and medicine.  Professor Byer and his group published the results of their research in journal Nature's Sept 27, 2013 issue.

In this interview Professor Byer also discussed how with his students they are researching how to build gamma-ray lasers as well as working hard so that they can measure gravitational waves by 2017.  In the last part of the interview, Professor Byer discussed funding for scientific research, how physicists can help mitigate climate change and fusion energy research at the National Ignition Facility and how fusion energy could help power space ships that can go to the Alpha Centauri.

Please click here for Professor Byer's interview.  Professor Byer's list of recommended books is available from this link.
Dr. Robert Kirshner               Professor Roger Blandford     Professor Robert Byer              Thirty-Meter-Telescope-Hawaii
Dr. Robert KirshnerProfessor Roger Blandford & Professor Robert Byer

KZSU's Special Interview about Astronomy and Astrophysics:

KZSU interviewed Dr. Robert Kirshner, Chief Program Officer, Science at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation with Stanford Professors Roger Blandford and Robert Byer.   Dr. Kirshner discussed the role of the Moore Foundation in supporting scientific research, and he discussed the Moore Foundation's support for the Thirty Meter Telescope which is being built in Hawaii.  

Dr. Kirshner, Professor Blandford and Professor Byer then discussed dark energy and dark matter and why the universe is accelerating. Dr. Kirsher discussed why he wrote his book 'The Extravagant Universe: Exploding Stars, Dark Energy and the Accelerating Cosmos' and Professor Byer discussed why he recommends reading 'The Perfect Machine: Building the Palomar Telescope'.  

The discussion then turned to the LIGO project (Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory): it's history, how it works and why measuring gravitational waves is important.  
In the last part of the interview, Dr. Kirshner and Professors Blandford and Byer discussed the exciting opportunities that are now available to amateur astronomers.

KZSU broadcast this interview in November, 2015 and the interview is available from this link.