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Feb 17 Lecture – Cosmic Gold

Science at Cal Lecture Series

Cosmic Gold: Neutron Star Mergers, Gravitational Waves, and the Origin of the Heavy Elements

with Prof. Eliot Quataert

Saturday February 17, 2018 at 11:00 AM
131 Campbell Hall,  UC Berkeley

 

Campbell Hall is on Upper campus. If coming by BART, allow 15-20 minutes to walk up the hill from our usual venues. Nearby public parking is available in the Upper Hearst Structure on Hearst and Gayley. Accessible spaces are available on University Drive near Campbell Hall.

Scientists have recently developed a new way to “see” the universe, using the gravitational waves predicted by Einstein nearly a century ago. These waves can teach us about some of the most exotic objects known, including star “corpses” known as black holes and neutron stars. Remarkably, they have also helped solve a longstanding puzzle about where in the Universe some of the elements we know and love here on Earth are produced, including gold, platinum, uranium, and even Californium!

Neutron Star mergers - image LIGO/NSF

 

Eliot Quataert

 

Eliot Quataert is a Professor of Astronomy and Physics at UC Berkeley and the Director of the Theoretical Astrophysics Center. He is an astrophysics theorist who works on a wide range of problems, from stars and black holes to how galaxies form.  He has received a number of national awards for his research and is also a highly regarded teacher and public lecturer.

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