February 9, 2017

Hyatt Regency Chicago
151 E Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL, USA

QM2017 Public Lecture in collaboration with C2ST

For the first second of time, long before the emergence of planets, stars, or galaxies, our universe was a hot primordial soup of “elementary” particles like quarks.  Encoded in this formless, shapeless quark soup were the imprints of events from an even earlier epoch—the very beginning of the universe.  Read more…

February 6, 2017

Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy
250 East 111th Street, Chicago, IL, USA

Opening Day may seem far in the distant future, but that doesn’t stop us from counting down the days until pitchers and catchers report for the spring season, and for the official start of spring training.

But there is no better way to celebrate the Cubs’ World Series than taking a closer look at what happens on the ballfield: Why does Jon Lester’s curveball curve? How did David Ross handle all those fastballs? And what’s the quickest way for Dexter Fowler to run around the bases? Read more…

“He pointed out to him the bearings of the coast, explained to him the variations of the compass, and taught him to read in that vast book opened over our heads which they call heaven, and where God writes in azure with letters of diamonds.” — Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo

Read more…

February 16, 2016

Geek Bar Beta
1941 West North Avenue, Chicago, IL, USA

Everything we see today, our precious atoms and molecules, got here by traveling on swaths of dark matter. From the oscillations of the hot plasma of the primordial universe, to the formation and dynamics of modern galaxies, dark matter plays a necessary role. The very construct in which we sit is defined by its abundance. Our universe’s evolution is controlled tightly by a cosmic tug-of-war between dark matter and dark energy. Read more…

January 19, 2016

Geek Bar Beta
1941 West North Avenue, Chicago, IL, USA

There’s a treasure at the edge of the Solar System. It’s a data recorder, aboard the New Horizons spacecraft, slowly sending to Earth several gigabytes acquired during last summer’s flyby of Pluto.  That information is still coming down.  At the mission’s home base in Maryland, William S. Higgins witnessed the excitement during the encounter.  Now he reviews results, downlinked in recent months, that are illuminating the mysteries of Pluto, its five moons, and its neighborhood. Read more…

March 3, 2015

Geek Bar Beta
1941 West North Avenue, Chicago, IL, USA

“Vandals of the Void: Damaging Meteors from Chelyabinsk to Chicago” with William S. Higgins

Two years ago, a window-shattering shock wave injured 1400 Russians, and startled the world, as a small asteroid hit Chelyabinsk. Violent meteors are rare, but they can be devastating—and meteors have assaulted Chicagoland at least twice. Read more…