Monday May 14, 2018
The Physics of Baseball
Scott Paulson, James Madison University
Spring is finally here, and a young person’s fancy turns to thoughts of baseball. This presentation will cover some of the physics behind routine and not-so-routine baseball plays. Topics include the bat-ball collision, the trajectory of airborne balls, throwing home from the outfield, and the optimal base-running path. Along the way, we’ll address questions such as “Why do curve balls curve?” “How important is the follow through in a swing?” and “Why are there so many home runs in Denver?” After a short presentation there will be plenty of time for questions, discussion, and to reminisce about the 2008 World Series.
Monday April 23, 2018
Science on Tap Untapped: Schooled by Science
*This event was part of the Philadelphia Science Festival
The pursuit of higher education in science is more than just lab work and dissertations. Join us for a special PSF Science on Tap that will explore the many ways science has really taught us lessons. Six speakers will share hilarious and true stories of what they learned during the course of their studies. Between these flash-talks, you can decide who makes the grade and toast to a universal truth: sometimes you test the hypothesis, sometimes the hypothesis tests you.
Monday March 12, 2018
Modern Methods for Studying Ancient Philadelphia: An Introduction to Digital Archaeology in Turkey
Dr. Peter Cobb, Penn Museum
One of the oldest Philadelphias in the world is located in what is now western Turkey, at the city today called Alaşehir. This talk introduces the history and archaeology of this region of the world, located between Ancient Greece and the Near East. This summer, we plan to commence an archaeological project to survey this area and map human occupation in all time periods. This project will employ a variety of new digital tools to record and analyze archaeological evidence: from drones and GPS, to cloud computing and databases, to 3d scanning and photogrammetry, to historical satellite and aerial imagery. Come join us to discuss how the latest technologies are improving the ways we study the past!
Monday February 12, 2018
Iron Gall Ink and Inherent Vice: Conserving Nathan Sellers’ Account Book
Renée Wolcott, American Philosophical Society
Iron gall ink served as the primary manuscript ink of the Western world from the 4th century CE well into the 19th century. Historically, the ink was popular both for its deep, rich black color and for its indelibility. As it ages, however, the ink can spell disaster for the paper on which it is written. It is often both acidic and full of excess iron(II) ions, which can lead to embrittlement, cracking, and holes in paper documents. This talk explores the problematic chemistry of iron gall ink and the conservation treatment of an account book written by Nathan Sellers, a fighting Quaker who saved American papermaking during the Revolutionary War.
Monday January 8, 2018
The Archaeology of Philadelphia’s Earliest Citizens
Dr. George M. Leader, Arch Street Project
In March of 2017, developers at 2nd and Arch Street began uncovering human remains. Excavation recovered 450 individuals from what is now known to have been the cemetery of the First Baptist Church from 1700-1860. The analysis of the remains will offer a huge amount of information on the life, death, health and culture of the city’s inhabitants around and during the American Revolution.