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Caltech Science Journeys Program Returns with Physics Presentation: "Bringing Imbalance to the Universe"

Everyone's journey into science is unique. For Arian Jadbabaie (PhD '23), it was all over the map: He was born in Iran, grew up in Connecticut, earned his bachelor's degree at Washington University in St. Louis, interned at Brookhaven National Laboratory and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory during a gap year, and landed in Pasadena to pursue his doctorate.

Jadbabaie did his PhD work in the lab of Assistant Professor Nick Hutzler. Outside the lab, he was active in science outreach, seizing opportunities to share his passion for physics with the community. He collaborated with the Caltech Center for Teaching, Learning & Outreach to develop science demonstrations and perform outreach at local schools and events.

One of his final projects was to record a Science Journey presentation that shares the mysteries of the universe with students and science fans.

"When I was a young child, I was really mesmerized by spinning things; for example, a ceiling fan," Jadbabaie says in his presentation. "I actually do still work with spinning things today. They don't quite look like ceiling fans. They look like cold rotating molecules. At the end of the day, we use these cold rotating molecules to learn about very deep fundamental questions in physics related to the big bang, the origins of our universe, and how we came to be here today."

Jadbabie's video premiere kicks off the 2023–24 season of Science Journeys, which will include in-person field trips that explore topics including fluid dynamics and turbulence, soil microbes and climate change, and neuroscience and decision-making.

About the Series

In Science Journeys, Caltech graduate students and postdoctoral scholars discuss a range of scientific topics that will spark students' curiosity and provide educators with supplemental resources to continue that exploration in the classroom.

"I am delighted to welcome back in-person Science Journeys field trips in 2024," said Mary Herrera, the program's coordinator. "Caltech young researchers have a wealth of STEM knowledge and inspiration to share with students and lifelong learners in our community. We are ready for you—we hope you are ready for us!"

Each field trip includes a presentation and Q&A. Programs are designed especially for middle and high school students, but everyone is welcome to attend. All events are free through the generosity of the Friends of Beckman Auditorium, but registration is required.

Visit the Science Journeys website to register yourself or your classroom for a future event and to watch past presentations.

Written by Alyce Torrice

Caltech Communications