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COOS BAY — As part of the Southwestern Oregon Community College 2020-21 Physics and Astronomy Lecture Series, professor Scott Holmstrom of the University of Tulsa Department of Physics and Engineering will present a lection Feb. 25 entitled “Smelling Better than a Bear: On the development of miniature chemical sensors for trace gas detection.”

The free talk will be livestreamed starting at 6:30 p.m. The livestream can be accessed at https://livestream.com/swocc/physicsandastronomy2020-21, and through the college's Facebook page.

 “Animals, from moths to humans, use their sense of smell to detect unusual molecules in the air that surrounds them,” Holmstrom said in a preview of his talk. “With experience, the olfactory sensation produced by a particular molecule or combination of molecules can signal, for example, danger or safety. In the jargon of scientists, the nose is nature’s chemical sensor for trace gas detection in the atmosphere.”

Holmstrom said for the past decade, researchers in his lab have worked in collaboration with scientists and engineers from around the globe to develop miniature artificial noses based on how laser light interacts with molecules.

“Our efforts have been predominantly centered on developing sensors that can be used to identify chemical warfare agents, explosives, and toxic industrial chemical, but we’ve found that our platform can be used for a variety of purposes,” he said. “In this talk, I will review our work from its humble beginnings to our recent collaboration with the American Institute for Manufacturing (AIM) Photonics foundry that focused on developing and testing the components needed to realize a fully-integrated artificial nose.”

For information on the talk, contact Aaron Coyner, associate professor of physics at SWOCC, by phone at 541-888-7244 or email at aaron.coyner@socc.edu.

The Southwestern Physics and Astronomy Lecture Series is supported by the Southwestern Oregon Community College Foundation.

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