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Hubble Telescope Researcher to Speak at Hartnell College's 30th Annual Physics Olympics

April 4th, 2006

Joseph Hennawi, a Hubble Space Telescope Fellow at UC Berkeley and Hartnell College graduate, will speak on campus Thursday, April 6, at 11 a.m.

The talk, which is free and open to the public, is titled "Weighing the Dark Matter in the Universe With Gravitational Lensing." It will be held in the main theater of the Performing Arts Facility.

Hennawi's presentation is part of Hartnell's 30th annual Physics Olympics, a one-day competition for about 125 physics students from Hartnell and local Salinas Valley high schools.

The Hubble fellowship supports outstanding postdoctoral scientists whose research is broadly related to the mission of the Hubble Telescope. After graduation from Hartnell, Hennawi received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in physics from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in astrophysics from Princeton University.

Hartnell's Physics Olympics has been directed by Jesse Cude, physics instructor, since its inception in 1976. "The Physics Olympics," says Cude, " gives students insight into the problems and thought-processes that take place in the design of an original and practical apparatus."

Some of the competitive events involve students building miniature bridges out of balsa wood, deflecting a laser beam past obstacles to a target, and designing an "egg transport vehicle" to protect uncooked eggs that are d ropped 40 feet. There is also an academic quiz.

For more information, call Jesse Cude at (831) 755-6884.