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August 24 , 1999

Talk on "The Art and Science of the Motorcycle"
at Brookhaven Lab, Sept. 24

Upton, NY - Motorcycle maven Charles M. Falco, a physicist and professor of optical sciences at the University of Arizona, Tucson, who helped curate last summer's popular "The Art of the Motorcycle" exhibition at the
Guggenheim Museum, will present a talk on "The Art and Science of the Motorcycle" at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory in the Brookhaven Center on Friday, September 24, at 8 p.m. The public is invited to this free lecture.

In his talk, Dr. Falco will discuss the history, technology and aesthetics of motorcycles, including the developments in science and technology that allowed these sleek, efficient machines to be produced. Considering motorcycles as an art form, he will describe the critieria he and fellow curatorial advisor Ultan Guilfoyle used to select the specific machines in last summer's exhibition, as well as provide a preview of what to expect when it opens at the Guggenheim's new museum in Bilbao, Spain, later this fall.

Harboring a passion for motorcycles since he first rode on the back of one across Des Moines, Iowa, at the age of 10, Dr. Falco today owns 15 of the vehicles. He also claims to have what is probably the world's largest
private collection of motorcycle books, having amassed, over 35 years, about 85 percent of all volumes on the subject published since 1898. Dr. Falco has written dozens of articles about motorcycles, as well as two books on the subject.

Tapping into his expertise on the subject, the Guggenheim asked Dr. Falco to recommend the motorcycles that should be included in its exhibition on the spiral ramp in the world-famous New York City museum that Frank Lloyd Wright designed. As it turned out, the three-month show that started at the Guggenheim on June 26, 1998, broke all attendance records, with 301,037 visitors.

But motorcycles are just a past time for Dr. Falco, who has written more than 250 papers on optical science. After earning a Ph.D. in physics at the University of California, Irvine, in 1974, Dr. Falco joined Argonne National Laboratory as an assistant physicist and was promoted to group leader of the superconductive and novel materials group three years later. He moved on to become professor of optical sciences at Arizona Research Laboratories, University of Arizona, in 1982. In 1998, he was made University Chair of Condensed Matter Physics. Also, since 1983, he has been director of the Arizona Research Laboratories' Surface Science Division.

The U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory creates and operates major facilities available to university, industrial and government personnel for basic and applied research in the physical, biomedical and environmental sciences, and in selected energy technologies. The Laboratory is operated by Brookhaven Science Associates, a not-for-profit research management company, under contract with the U.S. Department of Energy.

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