Kent News

Berkeley physicist speaks to students

Nick Fisher, Campus News Reporter

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On Friday, December 8th, Kent School invited Dr. Schroeder, a physicist from the University Of California Berkeley, to give a lecture about the future of particle accelerators.

During the presentation, Schroeder spoke about the evolution of particle accelerators. Throughout history, particle accelerators have gotten bigger and bigger. The first particle accelerator, made in 1928, was small and burned little energy. In 1954, the Bevatron raised the bar, being over 100 times as effective. The largest particle accelerator currently is the Hadron Collider in France, which is 27 kilometer long ring of electromagnets underneath the city of Saint-Genis-Pouilly, right on the France-Switzerland border. And in 2035, there are plans to create an even bigger collider, spanning 100 kilometers. The problem, as mentioned by Schroeder, is the development of laser technology to match.

Schroeder is a world-class scientist and has been a pioneer in the field. He works in the “BELLA” Lab at Berkeley with a small group of 5 scientists and 5 students. This elite group of scientists works together with other scientists around the globe to pursue new breakthroughs in the field. Schroeder has weekly conference calls with his fellow scientists and goes on several trips around the world, including annual conferences in Switzerland and Oxford. He comments, “The best part of the work I do is the collaborative aspect.” With 150 papers published on intense laser-plasma interactions, Schroeder has already left his mark in the field.

Schroeder is fortunate to be in a line of work that he loves. “It’s incredibly interesting work, you spend your days solving puzzles and mysteries,” says Schroeder, “I don’t know anything else I would want to be doing right now besides this.”

To all aspiring scientists at Kent, he recommends attending a strong research university to pursue his or her passion and that “It is an incredibly interesting time to go into physics.”


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Berkeley physicist speaks to students