Baylor Research and Innovation Collaborative Welcomes Nobel LaureateNov. 4, 2013
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Media contact: Lori Fogleman, (254) 710-6275
WACO, Texas (Nov. 4, 2013) - The Baylor Research and Innovation Collaborative (BRIC) will welcome John Mather, winner of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physics, at 2 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7, in the Baylor Sciences Building, D109.
The first speaker in the BRIC Foundations speaker series, Mather will present his lecture titled "A History of the Universe from Beginning to End." He will discuss the Big Bang theory of how humans came to be, how the universe began with a big bang and how the bang could have produced an earth that sustains human existence.
Mather won the Nobel Prize in Physics for his work with George Smoot as the project scientist for NASA's Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) satellite, which measured the color of the heat radiation from the Big Bang explosion and supports the Big Bang theory. He will also discuss how the COBE mission was built.
According to the Nobel Prize committee, "the COBE project could be regarded as the starting point for cosmology as a precision science."
Mather's presentation will be significant to the BRIC, said Truell Hyde, Ph.D., a professor of physics, director of the Center for Astrophysics, Space Physics and Engineering Research (CASPER) and the Vice Provost of Research at Baylor.
"Dr. Mather will be speaking on a research area that is covered in the BRIC," he said. "We have faculty that do the same kind of research he won a Nobel Prize for, so that's fascinating for them. Plus, anytime you get the chance to have a Nobel Laureate come and present, you take it."
Mather also will discuss NASA's plans for the next space telescope - the James Webb Space Telescope. The device will look inside the cocoons where stars and planets are born and search for Earth-like planets around other stars, which could produce signs of life in future missions.
Although the topics seem complex, Hyde said the lecture is not just for physics students.
"I would say the lecture is for anyone," he said. "Almost everyone I know has some interest in how everything began, and most people are interested in the stars and space to an extent."
For those interested in the intricacies of his work, Mather will present a technical lecture at 2:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8, in the BRIC, Room 3160.
The technical presentation will focus on the progress and details of the James Webb Space Telescope. Reserved shuttle service to the BRIC will be available from the Baylor Sciences Building at 1:45, 2 and 2:15 p.m. Nov. 8.
The Baylor Sciences Building is located at 101 Bagby Ave. For more information, call Sherri Honza at (254) 710-3763.
by Kristen Bennett, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805
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