Cosmic Knowledge and the Future of the Human Race
The March Kraw Lecture featuring Sandra Faber.
Modern astronomy is telling us the story of our cosmic origins—how the Galaxy was assembled, how the Sun and Earth were formed, and where the chemical elements came from that comprise our bodies. We can now use this knowledge of our cosmic past to predict our cosmic future, and it looks bright ahead. We humans have been given the mostprecious gift of all, cosmic time -- nearly a billion years of it. The challenge is clear: what will we do with it? National Medal of Science winner Sandra Faber will describe how the profound insights of cosmology are shaping the new Earth Futures Institute at UC Santa Cruz, which is grappling with this cardinal question.
Sandra Faber dreamed as a kid to understand where the Universe came from. From a lifetime of studying cosmology at UC Santa Cruz, she now has some answers. Faber helped to discover dark matter in the Universe, and, with UCSC colleagues Joel Primack and George Blumenthal, co-invented the cold-dark-matter theory for galaxy formation, which is now standard. She led the team that discovered ubiquitous massive black holes at the centers of galaxies. She's helped to build and use some of the world's largest telescopes, including the twin 10-meter Keck giants on Mauna Kea and the Hubble Space Telescope, for which she and her student UCSC graduate Jon Holtzman diagnosed the optical flaw. Currently she leads the CANDELS project, the largest galaxy survey yet with Hubble, which is revealing how infant galaxies took form 95% of the way back to the Big Bang. UC University Professor and member of the National Academy of Sciences, Faber received the National Medal of Science in February 2013 from President Obama and the Gruber Prize in Cosmology in October 2017.
Tuesday, March 19 at 6:00pm to 8:00pm
UC Santa Cruz Silicon Valley Campus 3175 Bowers Avenue, Santa Clara