Constellation

Speaker from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics reveals what maps can tell us about the evolution and structure of the Universe

Who: Margaret J. Geller, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
What: University of Minnesota School of Physics and Astronomy lecture about mapping the Universe; lecture is free and open to the public
When: 7 p.m., Thursday, April 23, 2015
Where: University of Minnesota Tate Laboratory of Physics, Room 150, 116 Church Street S.E., Minneapolis

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (03/06/2015) — We now live in a time when it is possible to map the Universe. We know that galaxies like our own Milky Way trace the largest patterns in nature. These patterns, first uncovered by astrophysicists from 1986-1989, extend for hundreds of millions of light years. Now with large telescopes, we can trace the evolution of these patterns and compare them with some of the world’s largest computer simulations.

Astrophysicist Margaret J. Geller from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, will explore the issue of mapping the Universe in her upcoming lecture “Click: The 3D Universe” at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 23 at the University of Minnesota Tate Laboratory of Physics, Room 150, 116 Church Street S.E., Minneapolis.

The lecture is hosted by the University of Minnesota School of Physics and Astronomy in the College of Science and Engineering as part of the Van Vleck Lecture Series. The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, visit: www.physics.umn.edu/events/vanvleck.

About the speaker:

Astrophysicist Margaret J. Geller from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics is best known for her pioneering maps of the distribution of galaxies in the nearby Universe. Together with the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) observations of fluctuations in the microwave background, these maps profoundly changed the view of large-scale structure in the Universe. Geller has also made substantial contributions to the study of galaxies and their environment. She has developed and applied techniques for measuring the matter distribution in clusters of galaxies. She is currently making a deeper map of the galaxy distribution called HectoMAP.

Geller has received numerous honors and is member of the National Academy of Sciences and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She received a B.A. degree in physics from UC Berkeley in 1970 and a Ph.D. from the Princeton University Department of Physics in 1975. She joined the permanent staff of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in 1983.

About the Van Vleck lecture series:

The 39th Van Vleck lecture is hosted by the School of Physics and Astronomy in the University of Minnesota’s College of Science and Engineering in memory of former faculty member and Nobel Laureate John H. Van Vleck. Since 1983, the Van Vleck lecture series has brought distinguished scientists to the University. For more information, visit www.physics.umn.edu/events/vanvleck.

Contacts:

Julie Murphy, School of Physics and Astronomy, jjmurphy@physics.umn.edu, (612) 625-6928

Rhonda Zurn, College of Science and Engineering, rzurn@umn.edu, (612) 626-7959