Texas Tech University

Texas Tech Hosts Caltech Professor for Bucy Distinguished Lecture

Glenys Young

April 22, 2016

Speech will show cosmic events’ role in making life possible.

WHAT: The Texas Tech University Department of Physics will host California Institute of Technology professor S.R. Kulkarni for the Bucy Distinguished Lecture on Astronomy entitled “Cosmic Fireworks (The Dynamic Universe)”

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday (April 26)

WHERE: McKenzie-Merket Alumni Center

EVENT: The Caltech-led Palomar Transient Factory (PTF), an innovative robotic two-telescope system, was designed to explicitly chart the sky with a particular focus on events that lie in the nova-supernova gap. Kulkarni will talk about the great returns and surprises from this project: super-luminous supernovae, new classes of transients, diagnosing the origin of supernovae, detection of gamma-ray bursts by purely optical techniques and troves of pulsating stars and binary stars.

“Professor Kulkarni's lecture is a unique opportunity for anyone who is interested in learning what astronomers are discovering about the transient and dynamic aspects of the cosmos,” said Alessandra Corsi, an assistant professor in the Department of Physics. “It will be a fascinating journey aimed at showing how our universe is adorned by cosmic fireworks: booms, burps and bumps that play a central role in making life as we know it possible.”

The event is open to the public and admission is free.

WHO: Kulkarni is the McArthur Professor of Astronomy and a professor of planetary sciences at the California Institute of Technology. Since 2006, he has been the director of the Caltech Optical Observatories. He also is the director of NASA Exoplanet Science Institute. His awards include the National Science Foundation's Alan T. Waterman Prize and Presidential Young Investigator award, a fellowship from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the American Astronomical Society's Helen B. Warner award and the Karl Jansky Prize of Associated Universities Inc.

He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Royal Society of London and the National Academy of Sciences, and an honorary fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences.

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CONTACT: Alessandra Corsi, assistant professor, Department of Physics, College of Arts & Sciences, Texas Tech University (806) 834-6931 or alessandra.corsi@ttu.edu