Alex Filippenko )
J. Edward Farnum Lectures
February 23, 2005 (7:30 pm)
1. Catastrophic Stellar Explosions: Celestial Fireworks!
This lecture will discuss how stars evolve and, in some cases, explode at the ends of their lives as supernovae, creating heavy elements so necessary for life as we know it. ("We are made of star stuff," to quote the late Carl Sagan.) Different types of supernovae and their remnants will be included.
February 24, 2005 (7:30 pm)
2. Enigmatic Gamma-Ray Bursts: Birth Cries of Black Holes
Professor Fillipenko will discuss how Nature's most powerful explosions since the Big Bang--the gamma-ray bursts--are associated with a particular type of supernova, producing black holes in the process. Incredibly violent jets of particles and radiation are emitted by such special kinds of supernovae.
February 25, 2005 (7:30 pm)
3. Einstein's Biggest Blunder? The Case for Cosmic "Antigravity"
The lecture will discuss how supernovae have been used to measure the expansion history of the Universe, culminating with the amazing discovery that the expansion of the Universe is accelerating, not slowing down as expected. Space appears to be filled with "dark energy," initially postulated by Einstein but later renounced as his "biggest blunder."