Russell E. Marker Lectures in Astronomy and Astrophysics set for Oct. 8 to 10

October 01, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Timothy Heckman, Dr. A. Hermann Pfund Professor and Chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Johns Hopkins University, will present the Russell Marker Lectures in Astronomy and Astrophysics on Oct. 8, 9 and 10, at the Penn State University Park campus. The Marker Lectures are sponsored by the Penn State Eberly College of Science.

The lecture series includes a free public lecture intended for a general audience, titled "The Dark Side of the Force: Supermassive Black Holes and the Life-Cycles of Galaxies," which will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 9, in 101 Thomas Building. In this lecture, Heckman will discuss the origin of supermassive black holes, the evidence for their existence, and their role in the formation of galaxies.

Timothy Heckman headshot

Timothy Heckman

IMAGE: Penn State

Heckman will also give two specialized lectures in 538 Davey Laboratory. The first, titled “Feedback and the Evolution of Galaxies and Black Holes,” will be held at 3:45 p.m on Oct. 8. The second, titled “Galactic Winds Driven by Massive Stars: Phenomenology, Physics, and Implications,” will be held at 3:45 p.m. on Oct. 10.

Heckman’s research focuses on the evolution of galaxies and supermassive black holes. He has authored or co-authored nearly 500 scholarly publications, which have been cited nearly 75,000 times. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has been named one of “The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds” and a “Highly Cited Researcher” by Thomson Reuters, and a “Highly Cited Researcher” by the Web of Universities.

Heckman is currently a member of the Board Committee on Physics and Astronomy of the National Academy of Sciences and serves as the Johns Hopkins representative on the Subaru Prime Focus Spectrograph Steering Committee. He served as chair of the Astrophysical Research Consortium (ARC) Board of Governors from 1995 through 2000, during which time ARC established the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. He also has served as a member of the National Academy of Sciences decadal survey “New Worlds, New Horizons.” Heckman earned a bachelor’s degree in astronomy at Harvard in 1973 and a doctorate in astronomy at the University of Washington in 1978. He joined the faculty at Johns Hopkins University in 1989.

The Marker Lectures were established in 1984 through a gift from Penn State Professor Emeritus of Chemistry Russell Earl Marker, whose pioneering synthetic methods revolutionized the steroid-hormone industry and opened the door to the current era of hormone therapies, including the birth-control pill. The Marker endowment allows the Penn State Eberly College of Science to present annual Marker Lectures in astronomy and astrophysics, the chemical sciences, evolutionary biology, genetic engineering, the mathematical sciences, and physics.

For more information or for access assistance, contact the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at 814-865-0418.

Last Updated October 04, 2018