Augustana College will host astrophysicist Dr. Tom Crawford presenting the Harry Nelson Lecture in Astronomy, "Probing Fundamental Physics with the Oldest Light in the Universe." This free public lecture is on Thursday, April 21, at 7:30 p.m. in room 102 of the Hanson Hall of Science (726 35th Street).
Dr. Crawford earned his Ph.D. in physics in 2003 from the University of Chicago, where he now is a senior research associate in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics and a senior researcher at the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics.
His lecture will discuss his work with the 10-meter South Pole Telescope and its observations of the cosmic microwave background (CMB), the oldest light in the universe. The CMB consists of photons that have for the most part not interacted with matter since a few hundred thousand years after the Big Bang, when the universe was 1/1000th of its current size. Discovery of the existence of this background of radiation resolved the major debate of 20th-century cosmology, and now provides the basis for a standard model of cosmology. Dr. Crawford will discuss the next stage of CMB measurements and what it aims to inform fundamental physics.
The Nelson Lecture is named in honor of Dr. Harry Nelson, 1935 graduate of Augustana College, long-time professor of mathematics at Augustana, and first director of the John Deere Planetarium. The lecture series continues Dr. Nelson's legacy of sharing the wonders of the heavens with the Quad-Cities community.
For more information, contact Dr. Lee Carkner at (309) 794-7318.