Exploding Stars: Beacons at the Edge of the Universe
7:30 PM Wednesday, July 9, 2014
The Ross School East Hampton
20 Goodfriend Dr
In 1929 Edwin Hubble discovered that the universe is expanding. Ever since, we have been striving to fully comprehend the implications of his discovery. Our understanding of the universe and our place in it has evolved from an anthropocentric, static, earth-centered model to a dynamic, evolving cosmos where galaxies are flung across time and space, where the cosmic horizon is quickly receding and the discoveries that await us are limited only by our imagination.
Based on Edwin Hubble’s discovery that the universe is expanding, a study was begun in 1998 to determine the expansion rate of the universe at great distances. Culminating with the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics being awarded to 2 Americans and an Australian, it was determined that the expansion rate of the universe is not decreasing but increasing at great distances, a finding that was quite unexpected and had far-reaching implications for our cosmological models and understanding of the expanding universe. Professor Madigan will discuss this discovery in detail and how a specific type of exploding star (supernova) was used to make this discovery.