14th Kaczmarczik Lecture
"Searching for Other Earths and Life in the Universe"
Geoffrey Marcy, PhD
Professor of Astronomy
University of California, Berkeley
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Main Building Auditorium
3141 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Science fiction depicts our Milky Way Galaxy as loaded with habitable planets populated by advanced civilizations that engage in interstellar travel and exploration. Back in our real universe, Earth-like planets and alien life have proved elusive. Where are they? Has science fiction led us astray? In 2009, astronomers will launch the first searches for Earth-like worlds around other stars, using extraordinary new telescopes for the task. These telescopes fundamentally supersede Galileo's historic little scope invented 400 years ago. We humans are about to launch a wild race for inhabited worlds and extraterrestrial life.
Geoffrey W. Marcy is a professor of astronomy at the University of California, Berkeley and an adjunct professor of physics and astronomy at San Francisco State University. He is also the director of Berkeley's "Center for Integrative Planetary Science," a research unit that studies the formation, geophysics, chemistry and evolution of planets. Marcy's research focuses on the detection of extrasolar planets and brown dwarfs. His team discovered the majority of the 250 known planets around other stars, including the first multiple-planet system, the first Saturn-mass planets, and the first Neptune-mass planet. His goal is to discover the first earth-like planets and to find other planetary systems like our own solar system. Marcy is the recipient of numerous awards, including the prestigious Shaw Prize in 2005, Discovery Magazine's Space Scientist of the Year in 2003, the NASA Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement, the Carl Sagan Award, the Beatrice Tinsley Prize, and the Henry Draper Medal from the National Academy of Sciences. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences.
High School Open House Program:
12:30 - 1:00 p.m. Main Building Auditorium
1:00 - 3:00 p.m. Department of Physics Open House
Brief presentations on Biophysics, Astrophysics, Computational Physics, Condensed Matter, Nonlinear Dynamics, Particle Physics, etc. An excellent opportunity for high school students to visit our laboratories and meet in person with our internationally recognized researchers.
3:00 - 3:30 p.m. Reception
About the Kaczmarczik Lecture
Paul Kaczmarczik began his career as a Professor of Physics at Drexel University in 1953. A key player in building the Physics and Atmospheric Science Department, he made important contributions to teaching at Drexel University during his many years of service. Well-liked by both his colleagues and his students, Professor Kaczmarczik became Professor Emeritus in 1989. The Kaczmarczik Lecture Series was established in 1995 in honor of Professor Kaczmarczik. It brings to Drexel outstanding scientists to present lectures on topics at the cutting edge of Physics research.