The 2013-2014 season of The Watson Lectures is now underway at Caltech. The lectures, started started by Caltech physicist Earnest C. Watson in 1922, have long offered the greater Pasadena and global communities an opportunity to glimpse the cutting edge research going on at Caltech and Jet Propulsion Laboratory. This current season is no different.
The scale of the season opening lecture by astronomer Richard S Ellis could not have been grander. In his lecture entitled, “Let There Be Light: Finding the Earliest Galaxies” Ellis discussed observing the infancy of the universe by peering back in time through the Hubble, Spitzer and Keck telescopes, both in space and here on Earth.
If the first lecture explored the most mindbogglingly large scale, the second took a look at the opposite end of the spectrum; nanotechnology. Neches Professor of Electrical Engineering, Applied Physics and Physics Axel Scherer discussed the exponential growth of the miniaturization of silicon based technologies and how these technologies can be put to work in medical applications to push the boundaries of preventative care.
On Wednesday December 4 Physicist and Astronomer Fiona Harrison will return the audience to the outer cosmos with her lecture entitled, “From Spinning Black Holes to Exploding Stars: A New View of the Energetic Universe.” Dr. Harrison will discuss NASA’s NuSTAR mission and how technological advances are allowing scientists to learn more about the death of stars and the growth of black holes.
This season of the Earnest C. Watson Lectures runs through May of 2014. Lectures will cover the cutting edge of chemistry, biology, geology, computer science.
Lectures are free and open to the public and are held in Beckman Auditorium on Caltech’s campus. For more information visit Caltech’s event calendar website.