Thursday 9 March 2006, 4.15 pm
(Refreshments available at 4pm)
Professor of Physics and Astronomy, UCLA
What's New in Cosmology?
A century ago, during Einstein's miracle year, we only knew that the sky was dark at night. Now we have a wealth of data about the Universe, much of it from the last decade and even the last year. And a dark energy and dark matter dominated critical density model with a scale-invariant primordial density perturbation power spectrum is still a good fit to all of the data.
Edward L. (Ned) Wright received his AB and PhD degrees from Harvard University, and was a Junior Fellow in the Society of Fellows. After teaching in the MIT Physics Department, Professor Wright has been at UCLA since 1981. Prof. Wright is interested in infrared astronomy and cosmology. He is the PI on the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer ( WISE) Midex proposal, which used to be called NGSS. He has been working on the COsmic Background Explorer ( COBE) since 1978. In 1992 he received the NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal for his work on the Cosmic Background Explorer. Prof. Wright is an Interdisciplinary Scientist on the Space InfraRed Telescope Facility ( SIRTF) Science Working Group. He has worked on the SIRTF project since 1976. Prof. Wright has studied fractal dust grains which are able to absorb and emit efficiently at millimeter wavelengths, and thus may be an important factor in studies of the cosmic microwave background. From 1994-1998, he has served as a Science Editor of The Astrophysical Journal. In 1995 he was named the CSEOL Distinguished Scientist of the Year.
Prof. Wright is also working on the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP). WMAP is a mission to follow-up the COBE discovery of fluctuations in the early Universe. It will observe the structure of the Universe 300,000 years after the Big Bang with better angular resolution than the COBE mission, and thus be able to detect the seeds of present day superclusters of galaxies. MAP was launched on 30 June 2001 and released in first year of data on 11 Feb 2003.
Location: Applied Physics, room 200 (AP 200)
Thursday, March 9, 2006 4:00 – 5:30 pmLight refreshments available 4pm; Presentation begins 4:15pm. Open to all.
rev 28 Sep 2005 NC