We started the third event of the year (our last at Liberty Public Market) with a stellar lineup!

Basic Nuclear Reactions, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Radiation

Will gamma rays make you big and get angry? Will a radioactive spider bite let you shoot webs from your wrists? Do radioactive things glow green? Thanks to movies, comics, and television, few fields of science are more misunderstood than nuclear reactions. What types of nuclear reactions are there? Why do atoms decay? What happens when they do? What can you do about it? (Hint: not much). What happens if you get irradiated? (Answer: probably nothing). Anthony dove into the mechanics of the nucleus, where the rules of classical physics break down, and explained some phenomena that even comic book writers call … impossible!

Anthony Neuberger has a degree in Nuclear Engineering from the University of New Mexico, where he studied fission reactor design and did research at Sandia National Laboratories. He currently works with Prompt Gamma Neutron Activation Analysis (shit yeah). When he is not working he spends as much time diving as possible, because water is better at stopping neutrons than air.

Composites 101 – Strings, Glue, and You….

As mankind embarks upon deeper and deeper space missions, structural materials need to be lighter weight, stiffer, and stronger. Even at home on earth, everyday structures (cars, airplanes, and bridges) are beginning to require mass efficiencies to combat rising costs and limited energy resources. Composite materials are showing up as a solutions to these challenges. So what are composites? And what makes a bunch of strings and glue so special, anyway?

Ken Mercer! As the Vice President of San Diego Composites, Ken leads the Space and Stable Structures group – a team chartered with the design, analysis, and qualification of material solutions for large scale/lightweight flight structures (sweet flying machines). Ken has degrees in Structural Mechanics from both Georgia Tech and Purdue University … but has somehow spent his career trying to stick spools of fiber together in weird shapes. When he’s not doing that, Ken spends his time chasing women. Namely, his three daughters (Madelyn, Lila, and Sabrina) and his favorite person in the world: his wife Margaret.

Finally! To the Stars….

Begining with a very quick history of rocket science, this talk was an introduction to one of Paulus’ inventions and its contribution to star travel. Read: the latest NASA paper currently making waves about EM drive propulsion! This is a technology that is going to actually take us to the stars…. THRUST!

Paulus Geantil is a physicist by education, and he’s worked in rocket science and robotics for over 20 years. He heads two companies in advanced robotic prototyping and energy storage, but coolest of all, he’s a wild inventor!


BIG NEWS ABOUT OUR NEW LOCATION! Nerd Nite is moving to 32 North Brewery in Miramar! Goodbye, flight path; hello … lesser flight path!