In keeping with our annual tradition of marking Pi-Day as close to the date as possible, this year’s public series lecture was held virtually, and we were treated to an exciting and illuminating talk. We were delighted to have Dr. Sharon Morsink, Professor of Physics from the University of Alberta, give the keynote address on Black Holes and Neutron Stars. Dr. Morsink’s interests are in High Energy Astrophysics, General Relativity and Neutron Stars.
The theme of neutron stars would have held strong appeal for Nikola Tesla, since these are the sites of the strongest known magnetic fields in the universe!
In our Science Series Lectures we also like to shine a light on less well- known discoverers or scientists as part of the program. This year’s focus was on Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis who introduced antiseptic procedures back in the 19th century. His early experiments in this area were described in a timely and relevant presentation by Board Member Milos Dumanovic, where the importance of following strict hygienic measures to prevent infection was important both then, and in our Covid situation now.
To conclude the event with some levity, we had invited members and attendees to enter a novelty virtual Pi-Day baking contest, adhering to the criteria below:
While the judges were putting their heads together to choose the winner, Vice President Lydia Emanuel took us through a quick slide show featuring highlights of previous Pi-Days.
We had numerous imaginative entries with either a space theme echoing our keynote speaker’s topic, or a science theme pertaining to the symbol Pi. Board Members also enjoyed participating, but were not eligible for prizes. The winner was Dr. Elaine Beltaos-Kerr with her cake of planetary spheres and equations.
There was a lot of merriment when President Lillian Beltaos showed us her Event Horizon which was the three-stage formation of the Black Hole Cake, which captured the look of swirling cosmic materials that later solidified into a dark mass of hot, burning stars.