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Materials Sciences

New Consortium Seeks to Expose Students to a Galaxy of Opportunities

Imagine exploring the cores of stars to understand — and ultimately control — the type of fusion that’s taking place.

High-energy density (HED) science is the study of properties and behavior of matter and radiation in extreme temperatures and pressures common to the deep interiors of the largest planets. It’s also the foundation of understanding fusion energy and high-energy astrophysical phenomena, and it’s happening at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, just 75 miles from UC Merced.

NASA Interns Return With New Prospects, Realized Dreams

Zach Petrek, a second-year doctoral student in chemistry and chemical biology, can usually be found running experiments in the laboratory of his advisor, Professor Tao Ye. But this summer, he did something different — he went to NASA.

Petrek was one of seven UC Merced students to intern at NASA over the summer, an opportunity provided through MACES, the Merced nAnomaterials Center for Energy and Sensing.

Professors Demystify Eclipse for Merced Skygazers

As the frenzy surrounding the Aug. 21 solar eclipse begins to peak, physics Professor Wil van Breugel is using the opportunity to give Merced stargazers a crash course in the science and history of these astronomical curiosities.

“It’s important for people to fully appreciate the science,” van Breugel said. “This is an opportunity to try to explain things more fundamentally.”

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