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03-30-2011

A Place for Everything and Everything in Its Place at Clarkson University Science Cafe April 6

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/lbrehm.jpg .]

“A Place for Everything and Everything in its Place” is the topic of a discussion by SUNY Potsdam Physics Professor Larry Brehm at the next Science Cafe at La Casbah, 6 Elm Street in Potsdam, on Wednesday, April 6, at 7:15 p.m.

Prof. Larry BrehmThere are nearly 100 chemical elements that make up everything around us. But how are they arranged into solid molecular forms?

Answers begin more than 150 years ago, with a political hothead Frenchman who developed a type of mathematics called group theory and then got himself killed in a duel.

His new math, which seemed useless initially, gave us new ways to look at shapes in space and is of fundamental importance in the development of methods for the determination of molecular structures, many of which, DNA for example, have profound significance for us today.

Join Brehm as he sheds light on this fascinating chapter of science history and its far-reaching, present-day consequences.

Science Cafes bring together engineers, scientists and townspeople in a relaxed, informal setting, such as coffeehouses and pubs. The speaker makes a short presentation about a topic in his or her field, and then opens up the floor to discussion.

Find out more about Clarkson's Science Cafe at http://www.clarkson.edu/sciencecafe.

E-mail Daniel ben-Avraham at ScienceCafe@clarkson.edu with any questions or suggestions for future Science Cafe topics.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in six alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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