The History of the Universe from Beginning to End
with Dr. John C. Mather, Nobel Laureate
Public Lecture: The history of the universe in a nutshell, from the Big Bang to now, and on to the future – John Mather will tell the story of how we
got here, how the Universe began with a Big Bang, how it could have produced an Earth that can sustain human existence, and
how human beings are discovering their history. Mather was Project Scientist for NASA’s COsmic Background Explorer (COBE)
satellite, which measured the spectrum (the color) of the heat radiation from the Big Bang, discovered hot and cold spots in that
radiation, and hunted for the first objects that formed after the great explosion. He will explain Einstein’s biggest mistake, how
Edwin Hubble discovered the expansion of the universe, how the COBE mission was built, and how the COBE data support
the Big Bang theory. He will also show NASA’s plans for the next great telescope in space, the James Webb Space Telescope.
It will look even farther back in time than the Hubble Space Telescope, and will peer inside the dusty cocoons where stars and
planets are being born today. It is capable of examining Earth-like planets around other stars using the transit technique, and
future missions may find signs of life.
A reception will follow at the E2 elevator landing.
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