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Café Scientifique

February 27, 2020 @ 6:00 pm - 7:15 pm

Annapolis Cafe Scientifique: A place where, for the price of a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, anyone can come to explore the latest ideas in science and technology. At 49 West, CoffeeHouse, Winebar and Gallery. You can reserve your seats by calling 410-626-9796


Dear Patrons,

We are trying a new way to reserve seats. Do not call 49 West; instead, register here: https://forms.gle/24GLVKNe8u8bgdPu5. If you have problems, just email us (annapoliscafesci@gmail.com) with your reservation. We have 23 seats reserved for the 2/27 talk, and we have 19 seats left.


So, please join us on Thursday, February 27, 2020 at 6:15pm for:
Neutron Star Mergers, the Evolution of the Elements, and You!”
by Rick Sarmento, PhD, Assistant Professor at the USNA and Astrophysics Researcher.


Abstract: A neutron star merger is a type of stellar collision. The detection of the first neutron star merger (GW170817) in Aug 2017 in both gravitational waves and light, ushered in the so-called era of multi-messenger astronomy. While long postulated, follow-up observations of the merger confirmed that neutron star mergers (NSM) indeed create large amounts of the heaviest elements. In this talk Rick will describe neutron stars, discuss NSM and the observed abundances of heavy elements generated by the rapid neutron capture process (r-process). Some of these elements, such as Europium (Eu), have been measured in stars in nearby dwarf galaxies. The presence of heavy, r-process elements in some of these ancient small galaxies provides us with an opportunity to investigate and expand our understanding of NSM. In particular, Rick will discuss how simulating NSM in a cosmological context and comparing the results to dwarf galaxy observations can help us understand some of the loosely constrained parameters such as NSM rates, natal kicks velocities and elemental yields from these kilonova.

About the Speaker: CAPT Rick Sarmento is an Assistant Prof of Computer Science at the USNA.He earned his PhD in Astrophysics from ASU where he studied star formation in the very early universe. Rick has an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from UC Irvine, and is a member of scientific collaborations focused on the evolution of the elements. He lives in Annapolis.

And next month, on March 26, Ginger Woolridge will present ‘Woody Natives: Making Quick and Confident Choices’. Woolridge is an Annapolis based landscape designer, author and consultant, and coauthor of “Essential Native Trees and Shrubs for the Eastern US”.

Tracy Gill and Andy Loftus



February 27, 2020
6:00 pm - 7:15 pm