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Discovery Past, Present, and Future: Black Holes, Neutrinos, and Life in our Galaxy

Event Details

Thursday, April 13, 2023
1:30-3 p.m.
Marquee Theater, Union South

Featuring Nobel Prize winning astrophysicist UCLA Professor Andrea Ghez as well as UW-Madison luminaries, our panel will discuss the arc of discovery that unveils the secrets of the Milky Way beginning with UW–Madison Karl Jansky’s detection of radio emission from deep space. Professor Ghez will discuss the extraordinary discovery of the black hole at the center of the Milky Way. Professor Ghez will be joined by UW–Madison Hilldale Professor Francis L. Halzen who will talk about the IceCube Neutrino Observatory and what it tells us about some of the most energetic events in the Universe. We will wrap up by looking forward to what could be the next great discovery as Susanna Widicus-Weaver, Vozza Professor of Chemistry and Astronomy, discusses her work to understand the origin of life in the Galaxy. The discussion will be moderated by Eric Wilcots, Dean of the College of Letters & Science and Mary C. Jacoby Professor of Astronomy.

Susanna Widicus-Weaver, UW–Madison Vozza Professor of Astronomy and Chemistry. Widicus-Weaver conducts research in the emerging field of prebiotic astrochemistry. The field investigates the chemical mechanisms in space that lead to the development of biological systems.

Francis Halzen, UW–Madison Vilas Research Professor and Gregory Breit Professor, theoretician studying problems at the interface of particle physics, astrophysics, and cosmology. Since 1987, Halzen has worked on the IceCube project, which began with the AMANDA experiment. The experiment led to the construction of IceCube, a kilometer-scale neutrino observatory at the South Pole.

Andrea Ghez, UCLA Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Lauren B. Leichtman & Arthur E. Levine Chair in Astrophysics, Head of the UCLA Galactic Center Group. In 2020, Ghez received a Nobel Prize.

The event will be available virtually and in-person. Registration is required due to limited capacity.