The Physics Department at Wichita State University will be hosting Professor Steven Beckwith, the former director of the Space Telescope Science Institute which runs the Hubble Space Telescope on April 6 and 7.  Professor Beckwith will give a public lecture on Tuesday April 6th and a scientific talk on April 7th. See below for details.

Dr. Steven Beckwith is the Vice President of Research and Graduate Studies for the University of California's ten campuses, and he is the immediate past Director of the Space Telescope Science Institute. his 30-year research career spans a wide spectrum of interests including the formation and evolution of extra-solar planetary systems, the evolution of young stars, and the birth of galaxies in the early universe. In 2004, he led the team that created the Hubble Ultra Deep Field image, the deepest visual image of the universe, resulting in the discovery of the most distant galaxies ever seen.


Public Lecture: Hubble Telescope: The Dawn of Creation and the Beauty of the Universe

Place: Roger Lowe Auditorium at the Hughes Metropolitan Complex at 29th and Oliver in Northeast Wichita

Time: April 6, 2010 at 7 PM, doors open at 6:30 PM.

Cost: This event is free and open to the public, but due to expected size you will need to register and print online or request tickets. Online please click here for tickets, or for those unable to print please phone (316) 978-3190.

Abstract: The beauty of the universe, the galaxies, clusters of galaxies, and most of the stars, got its start in the first billion years after the beginning of time, the Big Bang. Every deep picture of the sky reveals thousands of these galaxies, each made up of billions of stars like the Sun. The intricate spiral structures of the Milky Way as well as the very smooth distributions of the larger elliptical galaxies took shape slowly, building up from many pieces in the detritus of the initial explosion governed by the dark matter that we can sense but still not see. Modern technical wonders like the Hubble Space Telescope have made it possible to look back to a time when the Universe looked very different than it does today, when the first galaxies were created and the universe developed structure seen as patterns in the galaxies apparent today.

Physics-Honors Seminar: Discovering the First Galaxies

Place:  Jabara Hall 128

Time:  April 7, 2010 at 2 PM

Cost: none.

Abstract: The Hubble Ultra Deep Field is the deepest optical image of the universe. In it, we can see galaxies at a time when the universe was only 7% of its present age, about 1 billion years after the Big Bang. Comparing the populations of objects at different epochs, their size, shape, and distribution with luminosity allows us to reconstruct the emergence of galaxies from the primordial soup and test our ideas of how the present universe came to be.

Hubble Space Telescope ultra deep field image:

The physics department thanks WSU alum Ed Lucas for a generous donation in making this even happen