Australia's 2011 Nobel Laureate, Professor Brian Schmidt, will describe the discovery that won him the Nobel Prize in Physics.
Time and date: 7 pm, Wednesday 18 July 2012
Place: Wesley Conference Centre, 220 Pitt Street, Sydney NSW
The talk will be suitable for children aged 12+, and will run for
about an hour.
About the talk
In 1998 two teams of astronomers were tracing how the universe had
expanded during its history. They expected to find that the expansion
was slowing down. But instead, they found it was speeding up. This
shocking discovery overturned astronomers' ideas about the history and
fate of the universe.
The expansion must be caused by something. Astronomers have called it Dark Energy, and it seems to make up more than 70% of the cosmos. But what is it, really?
Professor Brian Schmidt (Australian National University), who led one of the astronomy teams, will describe this groundbreaking discovery and explain how astronomers track the Universe's history back more than 13 billion years?and what they think its future will be.
This talk is the annual Allison-Levick memorial lecture, presented
by the Australian Astronomical Observatory.
Brian Schmidt is a Laureate Fellow at The Australian National
University's Mount Stromlo Observatory near Canberra in eastern
Brian was raised in Montana and Alaska, USA, and received undergraduate degrees in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Arizona in 1989. Under the supervision of Robert Kirshner, he completed his Astronomy Master's degree (1992) and PhD (1993) from Harvard University. In 1994 he and Nick Suntzeff formed the HighZ SN Search team, a group of 20 astronomers on 5 continents who used distant exploding stars to trace the expansion of the Universe back in time. This group's discovery of an accelerating Universe was named Breakthrough of the Year for 1998 by the journal Science.
Brian Schmidt joined the staff of the Australian National University in 1995. He has been awarded:
- The Australian Government's inaugural Malcolm McIntosh award for achievement in the Physical Sciences (in 2000)
- The Australian Academy of Sciences Pawsey Medal (2001)
- The Astronomical Society of India's Vainu Bappu Medal (2002)
- An Australian Research Council Federation Fellowship (2005)
- The US$1M Shaw Prize for Astronomy (a joint award; 2006)
- The US$0.5M 2007 Gruber Prize for Cosmology (jointly with his High-Z SN Search Team colleagues; 2006)
- The 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics, jointly with Adam Riess and Saul Perlmutter.
In 2008 Brian was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the United States National Academy, and Foreign Member of the Spanish Royal Academy of Sciences.
Brian is continuing his work using exploding stars to study the Universe, and is leading Mt Stromlo?s effort to build the SkyMapper telescope, a new facility that will provide a comprehensive digital map of the southern sky from ultraviolet through near infrared wavelengths.
Media assistance: Helen Sim
T: +61 2 9372 4251
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