Making Movies of Molecules: The Emerging Science of Powerful X-ray Lasers; IceCube Turns Ten: Past, Present & Future for the World’s Biggest & Strangest Observatory; PFAS in Waters of Wisconsin

Explore the Unknown!   
For September 8, 2021            
Hi WN@TL Fans,
A Happy Note:  WN@TL goes hybrid both with zoom and with in-person presentations beginning on September 8 at 7pm CT with a special event at the Discovery Building featuring Uwe Bergmann of Physics.  The Discovery Building is at 330 N. Orchard Street, Madison WI.
We move back to our longtime home, Room 1111 Genetics Biotech Center, 425 Henry Mall, starting September 15, with a celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the IceCube Neutrino Observatory.
The zoom registration link is still  Starting September 15, you can also watch a live web stream at
On September 8 at 7pm CT we have big reasons to celebrate!  WN@TL returns to live in-person talks with a special presentation at the Discovery Building by Uwe Bergmann of the Department of Physics speaks on Making Movies of Molecules – The Emerging Science of Powerful X-ray Lasers.
Description:  On November 8, 1895, Wilhelm Conrad Rӧntgen discovered a new invisible form of rays. He called them ‘X-Strahlen’ or X-rays. Since that day, X-rays have revolutionized medical imaging and science. Starting in the 1970s, powerful accelerator rings — the so-called synchrotrons — have dramatically advanced the scientific use of X-rays, by producing intense and highly-focused X-ray beams. Another quantum leap occurred in the late 2000s, when X-ray free-electron lasers came to light. These X-ray lasers produce ultra-short pulses with a brightness over one billion times larger than even the most powerful synchrotron sources. For the first time, scientists can study matter not just at the length scale of atoms and molecules, but also at the femtosecond (10-15 s) timescale of molecular motion. The dream of making molecular movies of a chemical reaction or a biological function in real time is becoming reality. We will describe these machines and present some of the most exciting examples of recent X-ray laser research.
Bio:  Uwe Bergmann is the Martin L. Perl Professor in Ultrafast X-ray Science in the Physics Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He got his PhD in Physics from Stony Brook University and did his graduate research at the National Synchrotron Light Source. He has since worked at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource, the Linac Coherent Light Source, and the Stanford PULSE Institute at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.
His research activities focus on the development and application of novel synchrotron and X-ray laser techniques. His scientific interests include studies of the structure of water and aqueous solution, active centers in metalloproteins in particular the photosynthetic splitting of water, hydrocarbons and fossil fuels, functional 2D materials, and imaging of ancient documents and fossils.
On September 15 we return to the Auditorium, Room 1111 Genetics Biotech Center, 425 Henry Mall, with a special set of presentations entitled “IceCube Turns Ten: Past, Present and Future for the World’s Biggest and Strangest Observatoryby Francis Halzen, John Kelley, and Lu Lu.
Description: The IceCube Neutrino Observatory, dubbed “the strangest telescope in the world”, sits in a cubic kilometer of ice at the South Pole, Antarctica. IceCube detects signals from astrophysical neutrinos that interact in the ice, revealing previously hidden information about the universe. It has been 10 years since IceCube began full operations on May 13, 2011. Join us as we look back at the massive construction effort led by UW-Madison, highlight exciting discoveries uncovered by a team of nearly 400 scientists from 53 institutions in 12 countries, and give a glimpse into the future of this one-of-a-kind instrument.


Dr. Francis Halzen is the principal investigator of IceCube, Hilldale and Gregory Breit Professor at UW–Madison. In 1987, Halzen started working on the concept of using natural Antarctic ice as a neutrino detector. This led to the AMANDA experiment, a first-generation neutrino telescope at the South Pole that represented a proof of concept for the IceCube Neutrino Observatory.

Dr. John Kelley is a scientist and detector operations manager of the IceCube Neutrino Observatory. He started working on IceCube in 2003 and has deployed nine times to the South Pole.

Dr. Lu Lu is an assistant professor at UW–Madison working to discover the origins of the highest energy particles and to understand their acceleration mechanisms using IceCube. In addition to her research and development work, Lu co-developed an augmented reality app, ICEcuBEAR, to visualize IceCube real-time alerts on mobile phones.

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On September 22 we welcome Christy Remucal of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering to speak on “PFAS in Waters of Wisconsin.”

Description: Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of >5,000 synthetic chemicals that are used in commercial products, fire fighting foams, and industrial applications. PFAS are increasingly detected in surface waters and groundwater in Wisconsin, where they are raising concerns about human and ecosystem health. This talk will discuss the prevalence of PFAS in the Great Lakes, with a specific focus on the Marinette and Peshtigo region due to known contamination in that area.

Bio: Associate Professor Christy Remucal leads the Aquatic Chemistry group at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and is the Director of the Water Science and Engineering Laboratory. She is a faculty member in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering and the Environmental Chemistry & Technology Program. She holds an MS (2004) and a PhD (2009) in Civil & Environmental Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and a BS (2003) in Environmental Engineering Science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Before joining the UW faculty, Christy completed a post-doc in the Institute for Biogeochemistry and Pollutant Dynamics at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.

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Remember, we’re now shifting to Hybrid so we can both Zoom and gather in a Room.  
Please share this missive with your friends & neighbors.
If you’ll be watching for the first time, please register for the WN@TL Zoom at
If you’ve already registered for a previous WN@TL zoom this year, you’re good—you don’t have to register again.
Continue to use the link found in the confirmation message Zoom sent you when you first registered.
WN@TL begins at 7:00pm Central
Hope to see you soon at Wednesday Nite @ The Lab!
Tom Zinnen
Biotechnology Center & Division of Extension, Wisconsin 4-H
Park for a small fee in Lot 20, 1390 University Avenue, Madison, WI