Thursday, June 11, 2015

INL researcher taking part in online "Energy of Star Wars" panel

Vishal Patel of the Idaho National Laboratory's Center for Space Nuclear Research
If you’re eager for the new Star Wars movie but tired of watching the same trailers on YouTube, you are in luck.

As part of Space Week, the Department of Energy is hosting “The Energy of Star Wars: A Google Hangout” on Friday at 2 p.m.

Experts from across the DOE complex, including the Idaho National Laboratory's Vishal Patel, of the Center for Space Nuclear Research, who studies how new forms of nuclear power could fuel tomorrow spacecraft, will be online to answer your questions.

  • How much energy would it take to run a Death Star?
  • What type of energy source could power a lightsaber?
  • Did Mace Windu really have to die?

To frame a question on social media, use the hashtag #StarWarsEnergy. Here are the links:

Or if you want to use e-mail, send your question to newmedia@hq.doe.gov.

In addition to Patel (whose alter ego in the Star Wars universe, according to the Star Wars Name Generator, is Opeseg Eclipseblast, a Jedi Master from Wroona), the panelists include:

Cathy Plesko, an applied physicist from Los Alamos National Laboratory who uses supercomputers to model what happens when an asteroid hits a planet.
(Star Wars alter ego: Azha Cosmosflame, a wandering trader from Riflor.)
Peter Thelin, a master optician from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory whose expertise is cutting and shaping materials by hand so they can be used by Lawrence Livermore researchers to explore the universe.
(Star Wars alter ego: Suhail Statind, a cantina owner from Tarento.)
Chris Ebbers, a physicist from Lawrence Livermore who uses lasers to study crystals.
(Star Wars alter ego: Bohtsan Cosmicburn, a cantina owner from Rian.)

You can watch at energy.gov/starwars or on the Google+ page.