The solar system formed from a cloud of interstellar gas and dust about 4.6 billion years ago. Life began on earth about 3.5 billion years ago following a period of intense bombardment by asteroid fragments and comets, severe volcanism and finally the development of a stable crust and a hospitable atmosphere. Thanks to ever more powerful telescopes and other state-of-the-art observational methods we are now able to directly see "stellar nurseries" and young stars at various stages of formation. In this talk we will learn about what triggers star formation in clouds, circumstellar disks, and planet formation within the disks, and early life on earth.

Student Lecture Notes

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Speaker Bios

Dr. John Bradley

Dr. John Bradley was born in New Zealand. He came to the US in 1978 and obtained a PhD from Arizona State University in 1982. Prior to joining LLNL as Director of the Institute of geophysics and Planetary Physics he was an Adjunct Professor in the School of materials Science and Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology and partner in a scientific consulting firm in Atlanta. Dr Bradley has spent much of the past 20 years engaged in research funded by NASA on extraterrestrial materials like meteorites and interplanetary particles. He was a scientific advisor to NASA on the Stardust mission that returned to earth in January 2006 carrying the first sample collected from the tail of a comet, and he is currently a member of the science team planning a mission to actually land on a comet, scoop up several hundred grams of ice and dust and return them to earth ~10 years later. The origin of life will be a major focus of this second mission to a comet. John is a Fellow of the Meteoritical Society and a member of the Materials Research Society, American Physical Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Dean Reese

Physics and Biology Teacher
Tracy High School

Dean Reese received his undergraduate degree in physics from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Currently, he is the Science Department Chairperson at Tracy High School and has been teaching there since 2002. He teaches IB Physics, Conceptual Physics, and ELL Conceptual Physics. He has been a Master Teacher for LLNL’s Education Program since 2007 and currently instructs in the Computer Simulation Teacher Research Academy. Dean has co-presented with various scientist in many Science on Saturday Presentations. In 2006, Dean had a DOE Academies Creating Teacher Scientists internship where he interned for 3 consecutive summers at the Center for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry at LLNL. In 2011, Dean was awarded the Cortopassi Family Foundation Excellence in Science Teaching Award. He is a dedicated advisor for the Tracy High Earth Club, Scientifically Speaking Club, and Computer Programming Club. Dean is a master instructor for the SIMMS (Secondary Integration of Modeling in Math and Science) Project with the intent of developing computer modeling skills for high school science and math teachers within the San Joaquin County. Prior to becoming a teacher Dean was a soldier in the United States Army National Guard.