Nobel Laureate to Present Lecture on Accelerating Universe
COLLEGE STATION —
In 1998 two international research teams traced back the expansion of the universe over billions of years, only to discover it was accelerating — a revolutionary discovery that suggests 75 percent of the cosmos is filled with a mysterious dark energy which now controls the universe’s future.
One of the key figures in that 2011 Nobel Prize-winning discovery, Brian P. Schmidt, will visit the Texas A&M University campus this week to present a free public lecture about this unexpected breakthrough and the ramifications for both the universe and astrophysics.
Schmidt, a professor at Australian National University, will present “The Accelerating Universe” on Thursday, Apr. 12, at 7 p.m. in the second-floor primary lecture hall of the George P. Mitchell ’40 Physics Building. Tickets are not required for the lecture, which will detail the discovery and explain how astronomers have used such observations to trace the universe’s history back more than 13 billion years, leading them to ponder the ultimate fate of the cosmos.
Schmidt shared the 2011 Nobel Prize for Physics with Adam G. Riess (Johns Hopkins University/Space Telescope Science Institute) and Saul Perlmutter (University of California, Berkeley). In 1994 Schmidt co-founded the High-Z Supernova Search Team — one of two teams honored for the breakthrough discovery — along with Texas A&M astronomer Nicholas B. Suntzeff, who joined the faculty in 2006 as director of the Mitchell Institute and inaugural holder of the Mitchell-Heep-Munnerlyn Endowed Chair in Observational Astronomy. Riess, who served as lead author on the High-Z team’s 1998 Astronomical Journal paper announcing the group’s ultimate discovery, was a Miller Fellow postdoctoral researcher at Berkeley at that time after earning his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1996, while Perlmutter headed up the competing team, the Supernova Cosmology Project.
Schmidt currently is in Texas along with several additional members of the High-Z team and other internationally eminent scholars for a broader series of astrophysics meetings being hosted by Texas A&M Astronomy and the George P. and Cynthia Woods Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics and Astronomy at Cook’s Branch Conservancy near Houston.
Schmidt’s lecture is co-sponsored by the Mitchell Institute and the Department of Physics and Astronomy in conjunction with the College of Science. For more information on the event, contact the Department of Physics and Astronomy at (979) 845-7717.
Learn more about the 2011 Nobel Prize discovery and the multi-faceted roles each team and individual researcher played.
Contact: Shana K. Hutchins, (979) 862-1237 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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