01-35
May 10, 2001

For more information, contact:
Diane Greenberg, 631 344-2347, or
Mona S. Rowe, 631 344-5056


Author Dava Sobel to be the Featured Speaker at Brookhaven Lab In a Program Sponsored by the ATLAS Experiment, June 7

Upton, NY - Dava Sobel, a former science reporter from The New York Times and author of several bestsellers, will be the keynote speaker at a program sponsored by the ATLAS Experiment to be held at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory on Thursday, June 7. The two-hour program about a physics experiment known as ATLAS and its educational offshoot called QuarkNet will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Laboratory's Berkner Hall. Also, Sobel's two most recent books, Galileo's Daughter (Walker 1999, Penguin 2000), and Longitude (Walker 1995, Penguin 1996) will be available for sale, and the author will sign them beginning at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. No reservations are required.

The ATLAS Experiment (pictured below) is expected to start in 2006 when construction of the most powerful particle accelerator in the world, the Large Hadron Collider at the CERN Laboratory in Switzerland, is due to be completed. The goal of ATLAS is to explore the fundamental nature of matter and determine what gives particles their mass. Brookhaven Lab has a lead role in building the ATLAS detector, which is 82 feet high and 184 feet long, and constructed using millions of precision-parts. Some 1,850 physicists and engineers from 34 countries are building and will participate in the ATLAS Experiment, including scientists and engineers from 30 U.S. universities and three U.S. laboratories.

Sobel's talk will focus on her most recent book, Galileo's Daughter, which is based on 124 surviving letters Galileo received from his eldest child, which Sobel translated from the original Italian. Galileo is known as the father of modern science. Among his numerous contributions, Galileo developed the telescope, discovered the four large moons of Jupiter, and famously stood trial defending the sun-centered universe.

Galileo's Daughter won the 1999 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for science and technology, a 2000 Christopher Award, and was a finalist for the 2000 Pulitzer Prize biography. The paperback edition was #1 bestseller on The New York Times bestseller list for five consecutive weeks.

The June 7 program will also include an award-winning film on the ATLAS Experiment; and a brief presentation on QuarkNet, a national educational program that involves teachers and students in ATLAS research and other physics research. This event will occur during a week-long ATLAS Experiment collaboration meeting at Brookhaven Lab, which will be attended by scientists and engineers from around the world.

In her thirty years as a science journalist, Sobel has written for such magazines as Audubon, Discover and The New Yorker. She received the 2001 National Science Board's Public Service Award, and, in November 2001, the Boston Museum of Science will present her with its prestigious Bradford Washburn Award. Also, Sobel's book, Longitude, has won several literary prizes, including the Harold D. Vursell Memorial Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and "Book of the Year" in England.

Lecture engagements have taken Sobel to The Smithsonian Institution, The Explorers' Club, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, The New York Public Library, The Hayden Planetarium and The Royal Geographical Society. She is a frequent guest on National Public Radio programs.

Call 631 344-2345 for more information about the June 7 program at Brookhaven. The Laboratory is located on William Floyd Parkway, about one-and-one-half miles north of Exit 68 on the Long Island Expressway.

The U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory conducts research in the physical, biomedical, and environmental sciences, as well as in energy technologies. Brookhaven also builds and operates major facilities available to university, industrial, and government scientists. The Laboratory is operated by Brookhaven Science Associates, a partnership led by Stony Brook University and Battelle, a nonprofit applied science and technology organization.

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Dava Sobel