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Walter Benenson to be Featured on CUTV News Radio

EAST LANSING, MICHIGAN, UNITED STATES, August 1, 2018 / -- How did the elements on earth get to be here? How many isotopes are there for each element? What is “star-stuff” and how did we come to be made of it? One exceptional scientist who has made a remarkable mark in his field explains his perspective and why it has such huge importance.

Walter Benenson Is an Emeritus University Distinguished Professor of Physics at Michigan State University who taught there for 54 plus years and co-author of the book “Handbook of Physics” and many other published works. He has also made contributions to the field of physics education research.

“It’s particularly important for people to be cognizant of how the elements are produced and miraculously appeared on earth,” says Walter. “All life consists of variations of these 93 momentous elements and their isotopes, and regretfully most people are unaware of the significance of this, and I want to change that.” Towards the end of his career Walter joined Lyman Briggs College on the MSU campus. There his goals became understanding why physics is so hard to teach and trying to improve that situation.

As a youth Walter had aspired to become a writer and was majoring in English until the end of his sophomore year at Yale. A physics professor (in required course) surprised him when he told him what a brilliant physics student he was. This prompted him to change his direction and he ended up getting a PhD in nuclear physics at the University of Wisconsin not many years later. Besides his may outstanding accomplishments and accolades Walter is one of the original founders of the Michigan State Cyclotron Laboratory 50 years ago. This laboratory has now evolved into a gigantic project called FRIB (Facility for Rare Isotope Beams). This is now a world class nuclear physics and astrophysics installation.

“The periodic table is so pertinent because it’s about the elements which symbolize all life on earth,” says Walter. “The elements are being continuously created in space by super nova explosions. Atoms are streaming through space towards the earth passing through our bodies. They are everywhere in space and did not come from the Big Bang but from continuous production by explosions in outer space. So all living creatures are essentially made up of stars material.” According to Walter life needs all of these elements to evolve especially carbon, oxygen and nitrogen.

Walter produced a spectacular video funded by the National Science Foundation about the production of the elements called “Nucleus Factory” which was aired nationwide on PBS stations. It is still available on YouTube.

“No matter what career you are following, you must work assiduously and with determination,” says Walter. “And it’s extremely important you acquire a superior education and have tremendous family support, but more importantly be absolutely dedicated to your work.” You also need some good luck, for example a professor setting you on the right track.

“People can be inspired at any age,” says Walter. “Even if you are a mediocre student, you can all of a sudden catch fire. I never thought I would wind up being a distinguished professor of physics because I had thought of myself as a writer. There are always chances in life, and we should be prepared for every opportunity.”

CUTV News will feature Walter Benenson in an interview with Doug Llewelyn on Wednesday August 1st at 12 p.m. EST.

Listen to our show on BlogTalkRadio.

If you have any questions for our guest, please call (347) 996-3389.

Author: Beatrice Maria Centeno

Lou Ceparano
(631) 850-3314
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