New Frontiers

David Pacchioli
December 08, 2008
poster of earth

Our Universe

In its 14th year, the Eberly College of Science's "Frontiers of Science" lecture series continues to challenge and enlighten lay audiences in our community. The original goal of the series still holds: to provide a free mini-course on a specific theme by offering six consecutive lectures by top-name experts in the field.

The theme for 2009, "Our Universe: From the Big Bang to Life," is a Penn State component of the International Year of Astronomy and the lectures will explore a range of topics including Dark Energy and Dark Matter; Extrasolar Planets; the IceCube telescope in the Antarctic; Black Holes; Chaos Theory; and the Search for Life on Other Planets.

This exciting line-up kicked off on January 24th with a lecture titled "Exploring the Dark Side of the Universe, presented on the University Park campus by J. Anthony "Tony" Tyson, Distinguished Professor of Physics at the University of California-Davis.

Tyson, an experimental physicist, designs new observational tests of cosmology and builds equipment to carry out long-term investigations. He currently is engaged in several collaborative surveys of the faint optical universe, including the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) project, which is expected to open new windows on the universe with its large aperture and wide field of view. LSST is slated for completion in 2014. At UC-Davis he has developed an interdisciplinary collaboration involving the physics, math, computer science, and statistics departments. "A collaboration between theorists, observers, and experimentalists gives us the best chance for a breakthrough," he said.

The lectures take place on six consecutive Saturday mornings from 11:00 a.m. to about 12:30 p.m. on the Penn State University Park campus.

No registration is required.

For more information or access assistance, contact the Eberly College of Science Office of Media Relations and Public Information by telephone at (814) 863-0901, by e-mail at Information also is on the Web at

Last Updated December 08, 2008