What's on at the Scientific Society

26 May 2016 | Wetenskap
Tuesday, 31 May 2016 at 19h00: English presentation by archaeo­logist Dr Beatrice Sandelowsky – Our Namibian Ancestors – Otavi­pithecus namibiensis
“The discovery of Otavipithecus namibiensis from Berg Aukas (near Grootfontein) is arguably the most significant fossil find ever made in Namibia, and one of the most important from southern Africa.
It provided the first, and still the only, incontrovertible evidence that prehumen ‘apes’ roamed the southern African veld millions of years before the first australopiths made their appearance in the region. It is the only Miocene hominoid ever discovered on the African continent south of equatorial East Africa.” (Conroy, Glenn C. 2008)
Born in Windhoek, Namibia, Beatrice H. Sandelowsky grew up on the farm Nordenburg on the edge of the central Namib Desert. After completing High School in Swakopmund, she studied at universities in Germany, South Africa and the USA. Having qualified as a teacher at the University of Cape Town she obtained a B.A. from the University of Rochester in New York and a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1972.
She undertook archaeological and anthropological research work in Malawi and in Namibia and has over forty scien­tific publications to her name and enjoys writing popular science.
She worked at and with museums and universities in Namibia, South Africa, Europe and the USA.
Beatrice Sandelowsky founded The University Centre for Studies in Namibia (TUCSIN) and was instrumental in establishing the Rössing Foundation Education Centre; the Museums Association of Namibia (MAN), and projects launched by TUCSIN such as the Rehoboth Museum, The Rehoboth Public Library, the Yvonne Steyn School on the Farm Naos and the J. P. Brand School at Utuseb on the Kuiseb River. She served as a member of the Electoral Commission of Namibia from 1998 to 2000 and was a member of the National Monuments Council of Namibia until 2006.
She retired from her position as Director of TUCSIN at the end of 2001, but retains her role as Deputy-Chairperson on the Board of Trustees.
• Thursday, 2 June 2016 at 19h00: presentation by Dongwi H. Dongwi (photo): Dark Matter: TREKing New Physics with Experiment E36 at J-PARC
Have you ever wondered: What is the universe made of and how does nature behave on the smallest most fundamental level?
These are questions that scientists grapple with on a daily basis. Science by dentition is an incessant search for truth, a perpetual struggle to discover the mechanisms by which the universe functions, that is as old as human curiosity.
Spurned by reasoning, observation and experimentation, scientists have been largely successful at discovering the laws of nature.
Sir Isaac Newton, for example, stands paramount as one of the greatest scien­tific minds of all time and his laws of motion (Newtonian mechanics) established in the 1600's were considered immutable due to their successful description of the acroscopic world.
At the turn of the 20th century, scien­tists began to uncover the world of the atom.
It quickly became apparent that Newtonian mechanics failed to provide a sensible picture of the subatomic world and a new physical description was needed.
By the mid-1970's scientists furnished a wonderful and successful framework called the Standard Model (SM).
The SM represents our best descrip­tion of the subatomic world and has been very successful at explaining how elementary particles interact under the influence of the four fundamental forces. Although a successful representation of the basic building blocks of matter, the SM is not without its limitations when faced with some of the universe's most peculiar mysteries namely, what is dark matter?
What happened to all the antimatter after the big bang? Why do neutrinos have mass?
Today we are standing once more at the precipice in searching for New Physics (NP) beyond the SM. With experiment E36 conducted at J-PARC in Japan we will be able to search for hints to these answers by studying the decay products of a subatomic particle called a Kaon (K+).
In this presentation Dongwi hopes to garner interest and enthusiasm for subatomic physics within Namibia and work towards future collaborations and the prospect of building a possible accelerator complex.
This work has been supported by DOE awards DE-SC0003884 and DE-SC0013941 in the US, NSERC in Canada, and Kaken-hi in Japan.
All events are open for public.
The venue is Namibia Scientific Society, 110 Robert Mugabe Ave opposite the National Theatre. Safe parking in yard. – Love Street entrance

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