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Talk looks at solar activity over 35,000 years

Sept. 30, 2010

KALAMAZOO--"Direct Measurements of Solar Activity in the Past 35,000 Years" will be discussed during a free, public talk Monday, Oct. 4, on the campus of Western Michigan University.

Dr. Devendra Lal, an internationally known geocosmophysicist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, will speak at 4 p.m. in Room 1118 of Rood Hall. Since recorded data on solar activity does not go back to times earlier than 1700 A.D., Lal will describe a new approach to analyzing solar activity data based on observations of the polar ice sheets. His talk is co-sponsored by the Departments of Geosciences, Physics and Environmental Studies.

After earning a doctoral degree from the Tata Institute for Fundamental Research in Mumbai, Lal began his career as a cosmic ray physicist, focusing on the application of cosmogenic nuclides in earth sciences, becoming a leading contributor in this the new field of geocosmochemistry. His research has strengthened areas as diverse as cosmic ray physics, archaeology, soil weathering and oceanography.

Lal served for many years in the dual capacities of professor at Scripps and the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research and then as the director of the Physical Research Laboratory in India. He then moved to Scripps where he is now with Geological Research Division.

He was one of earliest workers to have studied the lunar rocks from the first Apollo mission, and he has been selected as a fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, the Royal Society, the American Geophysical Union, the Third World Academy of Sciences, the Geochemical Society, the Indian National Science Academy, and the Indian Academy of Sciences. He is the recipient of the Goldschmidt Medal, the highest medal in geochemistry; the Bhatnagar Award, the highest Indian award for scientists; and he was recognized with the Indian government's fourth highest civilian award, the Padmasri.

For more information on his visit, contact R.V. Krishnamurthy at r.v.krishnamurthy@wmich.edu or (269) 387-5501.

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Media contact: Deanne Puca, (269) 387-8400, deanne.puca@wmich.edu

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