Contact: Whitney Richter, Director of Marketing and Communications, Office of the Vice Provost for Research, 254-710-7539
Written by: Gary Stokes, Office of the Vice Provost for Research
WACO, Texas (March 16, 2018) - Baylor Professor of Physics Dr. Lorin Matthews recently addressed fellow scientists and others at a January 30, 2018, Distinguished Speakers Series seminar at the University of Alabama at Huntsville.
In her lecture titled The Growth of Cosmic Dust Bunnies: How to Build a Solar System, Matthews presented current ideas of how the many kinds of planets observed in our galaxy form from the innumerable motes of dust and chunks of cosmic debris that surround new stars.
"After a star is formed from a collapsing cloud of gas and dust, a disk of material orbiting the star remains," Matthews explained. "Planets form from the material within this disk, starting with micron-sized dust grains sticking together to form centimeter-sized 'dust bunnies.' How these fluffy aggregates grow to solid rocky bodies big enough to interact with each other gravitationally is not yet understood."
Matthews is also associate director of CASPER, Baylor's Center for Astrophysics, Space Physics and Engineering Research, of which Dr. Truell Hyde, Baylor's vice provost for research, is director.
"Lorin was my first PhD candidate as a graduate student, so it's really gratifying to see her getting this kind of recognition," Hyde said. "She's become very highly regarded in plasma science and astrophysics, and rightfully so."
Matthews' entire presentation may be viewed by clicking here.
ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.