UW Bothell Professor Brings Sub-Atomic Physics to Kids

April 5, 2011
CONTACT: Richard Penny, (425) 352-3395,  pennyr2@uw.edu

BOTHELL, Wash. – Professor Warren Buck will use simple building blocks to demonstrate complex nuclear physics concepts to families in the upcoming “Paws on Science” event, April 8 to April 10 at Seattle’s Pacific Science Center.

“Paws on Science” is an annual event that provides an opportunity for the public to visit the Pacific Science Center to interact and learn directly from University of Washington scientists about the research being performed at the UW.

Warren Buck, Science and Technology Program director (and chancellor emeritus) at UW Bothell, will host an exhibit that explores the connection between the universe’s smallest objects and the largest ones: sub-atomic particles and the stars. Explains Dr. Buck, “Quantum chromodynamics is a theory that describes how quarks interact to form basic nuclear particles such as protons and neutrons: the building blocks of atoms. Yet these tiny nuclear building blocks are also what we find fueling the stars, where they are constantly being combined and recombined into all forms of nuclei.”

To illustrate this tiny-large connection, Professor Buck created a simple game called ‘It Really Does Matter.’ Using ordinary Legos to represent quarks, anyone can build a proton or a pi meson, according to Buck, “thereby gaining a better understanding of sub-atomic physics and how it relates to things we observe in our daily lives.”

“Paws on Science” is open to the public. For more information about the event, including admission and directions, visit http://www.pacsci.org/paws-on-science.

About UW Bothell: The University of Washington Bothell combines the benefits of a small campus with the resources and prestige of a world-renowned university. Offering over 30 degrees, options, certificates and concentrations, its curriculum emphasizes close student-faculty interaction, collaboration among students, and hands-on learning.For more information, visit www.uwb.edu.