VUMC Main Calendar Events

  • 4/7/2017
    7:00 pm - 12:00 am
    Meet The Astronomer: Dr. Robert Scherrer 'What is the Universe Made Of?'

    Dr. Robert Scherrer - "What is the Universe Made Of?"

    Over the past three decades, cosmologists have made remarkable strides in understanding what the universe is made of, and it’s weirder than we could possibly have imagined. The observational evidence points to a universe that is roughly 5% ordinary matter, 25% dark matter, and 70% dark energy. The dark matter binds galaxies and clusters of galaxies together, while the dark energy exerts repulsive gravity, driving the acceleration of the expansion of the Universe.

    During this talk, Dr. Robert Scherrer, Professor and Chair of the Department of Physics & Astronomy, will discuss the evidence for dark matter and dark energy, the properties of each, and ongoing searches to discover the particle comprising the dark matter and to pin down the exact nature of dark energy. After the talk and question-answer session, there will be viewing at the Seyfert Telescope (weather-permitting). Recommended for ages 8 and up.

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    More about Dr. Scherrer:

    After earning his A.B. degree in physics at Princeton University and spending two years at Cambridge University on a Marshall Scholarship, Scherrer earned his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Chicago in 1987. He was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics before joining the faculty at Ohio State University in 1989. He came to Vanderbilt in 2003 to serve as Chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, a position that he has occupied for the past 13 years. Professor Scherrer is the author of more than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles as well as several popular science articles and a number of science fiction short stories. He was a 1999 winner of the Ohio State Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching, and he received the 2010 Klopsteg Memorial Award of the American Association of Physics Teachers for outstanding communication of the excitement of contemporary physics to the general public."



    Image credit: NASA, ESA, M. J. Jee and H. Ford et al. (Johns Hopkins Univ.)

    Dark matter poster

    Contact: Alex. Rockafellar

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