Dr. John Learned

John Learned has the title of Professor of Physics at the University of Hawaii, Manoa campus, where he has been on the faculty since 1981. Prior to that he taught and did research at the University of California at Irvine, the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, the University of Wisconsin, and the High Altitude Laboratory at Echo Lake, Colorado. He obtained a PhD in physics at the University of Washington in 1968, an MS from the University of Pennsylvania in 1963, and a BS from Columbia College in 1961. In between schooling he worked for several aerospace companies as an engineer, including the Boeing Company, which was what brought him to Seattle in 1963. John has a list of over 200 publications, mostly relating to the study of elementary particle physics and astrophysics. He has been a pioneer in the attempt to start a new field of particle astrophysics, viewing the universe in the light of what may be the dominant form of matter, neutrinos. This brought him to Hawaii in 1980 to begin a long process of studying the deep ocean as a venue for this attempt, and developing the technology to do so. He is a world authority in particle astrophysics, and travels widely to give invited lectures at international meetings. Currently his group is heavily involved in several underground experiments in Kamioka, Japan. The Super-Kamiokande experiment is observing neutrinos from our sun, studying neutrinos produced by cosmic rays hitting the earth's atmosphere, looking for the decay of protons, and keeping watch for supernovae in our galaxy. This experiment has produced evidence for neutrino oscillations and mass, with much acclaim in 1998. The group also participates in a long base line neutrino experiment, K2K, in which neutrinos are sent from an accelerator laboratory (KEK) in Japan to the SuperK detector, 250 km through the Japanese alps. A new experiment, KamLAND is just getting under way, with data taking starting in late 2001. John is involved in several new projects involving ultra-high energy neutrino detection, in venues ranging from mines, salt domes, the deep ocean, to the desert, Antarctica, and to earth satellites in space. John's research has brought several millions of dollars to the State. He has mentored sixteen PhDs while at UH. John participates in community service, but keeps a low profile in campus politics. He aims never to rise above the rank of Professor, and hopes to get in many more years of fundamental physics research and teaching. He was co-recipient of the Rossi Prize in 1989, the Asahi Prize in 1998, and was U. H. Regents Medal for Excellence in Research in 1999.

Broadcast 2475 (Special Edition)

Guest: Dr. John Learned. Topics: Fast Radio Bursts, neutrinos, and related physics issues. Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use.

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