A place to relax, enjoy some coffee and cookies, and explore ideas about our physical universe... for science and non-science types!




The Elephant Seismic Project


On Tuesday, February 10th, 2004 at 7:30 pm in the Emerson Suites Ithaca College's own Professor Bruce Thompson will speak about the Elephant Seismic Project. For several years, Dr. Bruce Thompson has been working with students at Ithaca College and colleagues at Cornell University to sense ground shaking caused by elephants in the wild. Vibrations are produced when elephants walk and make calls to each other.   The sounds travel through the air and the ground and have been studied with seismic techniques such as those used to listen to earthquakes.


Seismic data of elephant call

Professor Thompson's Elephant Seismic Project has several goals: (1) To determine the mechanical characteristics of elephant legs and bodies, (2) to study the propagation characteristics of seismic signals that elephants generate, and (3) to find out whether elephants use seismic signals for communication through the ground. These investigations can help with elephant conservation programs by helping humans to understand elephants' perception of the world, helping to determine the size of elephant populations (especially in the African and Indian forests), and providing designs for inexpensive elephant detection devices for farmers to use as alarms in crop raiding areas.


The Physics Café is a campus-wide lecture series sponsored by the Physics Department of Ithaca College. The idea is to grab and hold the attention of science and non-science majors by offering talks on exciting and accessible current topics in physics, such as the time-warping properties of black holes, or the exploration of planet mars.   The talks are presented in a café environment, where coffee is served and students and physicists can informally discuss new ideas.

There are no pre-requisites! No requirements! Everyone is welcome!   Starbucks coffee (caffeinated and decaf.) will be served, along with cookies and biscuits. An informal talk-back session with the speaker will immediately follow each presentation. The Physics Café takes place at the beginning of each semester, before the workload gets heavy, and while students and faculty are not preoccupied with prelims. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Contact: Professor Beth Ellen Clark Joseph
Center for Natural Sciences, Room 267
607 274 3968

Read about former Physics Café Talks here:
  Fall 2003: Black Holes: Small, Medium, and Huge
  Spring 2002: Mars Mission

Read the Press Releases about the Physics Cafe here:
  September 18, 2003
September 08, 2003
August 25, 2003
February 03, 2003
January 01, 2003
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