Pew Pew June 21, 2010 5:09 PM   Subscribe

Lawrence Livermore National Lab mini-meetup?

As I mentioned in the Laser Nuclear Fusion thread, LLNL runs tours on Tuesday mornings at 9.

When I called last week, no one else had signed up, and they weren't planning to run the tour. If four more US citizens call the Public Affairs Office at (925) 422-4599 by 5pm PDT tomorrow (6/22) and express interest, they may reconsider. I know it's short notice and a long shot, but who doesn't want to see their tax dollars turned into shiny science toys*?

*Tour may not include NIF itself.
posted by djb to MetaFilter Gatherings at 5:09 PM (10 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Woot! I will be sure to call tomorrow morning, as they're undoubtedly closed now.

I'll have to bum a ride with somebody, though. Anybody passing through San Francisco on their way to Livermore? Or I can meet you at a BART station in the East Bay.
posted by Quietgal at 7:17 PM on June 21, 2010

That. is. so. cool. I will totally do this the next time I'm in California.

(As it is, I'm not in California, so I can't come this time.)
posted by backseatpilot at 5:05 AM on June 22, 2010

Serving suggestion: Overthought beans and a nice Chianti.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 6:27 AM on June 22, 2010

I just talked to the Public Relations person at LLNL, and the July 6 tour is starting to fill up! (Is it you guys?) Anyway, if you're interested give them a call pretty soon. They will email you a form to fill out - they do a background/security check on visitors - and they need your response by Monday, June 28, for the July 6 tour.

Also, let's try to arrange some carpool action here in this thread. Nuclear fusion is still a ways off so we gotta conserve oil.
posted by Quietgal at 10:44 AM on June 22, 2010

I'm totally there if I can quantum tunnel from Brookhaven.
posted by Eideteker at 11:06 AM on June 22, 2010

Turns out the Public Relations person made 4 reservations in my name for "my group" and I'm supposed to email the form to my pals. So if anyone wants to go, please MeMail me and I'll send you the form. After I send out 3 forms I'll update here, if necessary.

Eideteker, you're too big to fit in the quantum tunnel. Try the Alameda-Weehawken burrito tunnel instead.
posted by Quietgal at 1:19 PM on June 22, 2010 [1 favorite]

My Ol' Man used to work out at the lab and we went out on more than a few family days. It was kind of interesting to see the folks who had PR sense (no bucks == no Buck Rodgers). The NIF (potentially on the tour) replaced NOVA which had a pretty cool gallery of, e.g., an exemplar laser lens as big as three stacked manholes with a dust-mote sized hole bored through it when a particle hit the energized crystal. Good times. The Z-Division folks had the best compound: sets of concertina'd fence with irregular cobbles between and giant theoretically IR sensing (or ...?) lenses.

Sadly, most of the facility is about as interesting as a bunch of nice university offices with the occasional lab with exotic warning signs and hallway eyewash. I'm sure you'll skip most of that.

When you're done Conannon ain't too far away and used to be a pretty nice picnicy place -- with wine. Seems like its not yet overgrown with suburbia. Anyone with some spare hours in the Bay Area should check it out...
posted by Ogre Lawless at 10:26 AM on June 23, 2010

Ooh, big lasers. Count me in!
posted by zippy at 3:15 AM on June 24, 2010

OK, I'm driving from the East Bay, and if anyone would like to carpool, I can pick up folks from North Berkeley or Ashby BART.

I'd like to propose a pickup time, but I was wondering whether anyone knows how long we need to budget to get through security.
posted by zippy at 2:50 PM on June 24, 2010

Update: zippy and I went on the LLNL tour yesterday and it was great. Lasers + Big Science = awesome! The other parts of the tour were moderately interesting or a bit boring, but the National Ignition Facility (home of said lasers) was fascinating and impressive. Highly recommended, if anyone ever has the chance to take the tour; ask the PR person if the NIF will be included on your date.

And they have free NIF refrigerator magnets! Your tax dollars at work!
posted by Quietgal at 11:29 AM on July 7, 2010

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