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Department of Physics

Nobel Laureate Astrophysicist Adam Riess to Speak at K-State on October 27

Adam RiessNobel laureate Adam Riess, distinguished astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute and astrophysicist at Johns Hopkins University, will present the Neff lecture in Physics at Kansas State University in Hale Library's Hemisphere Room on Tuesday, October 27, at 4:30 p.m.

In 1929 Edwin Hubble discovered that our Universe is expanding. Eighty years later, the Space Telescope which bears his name is being used to study an even more surprising phenomenon, that the expansion is speeding up. The origin of this effect is not known, but is broadly attributed to a type of "dark energy" first posited to exist by Albert Einstein and now dominating the mass-energy budget of the Universe.

In his lecture "Supernovae and the Discovery of the Accelerating Universe," Dr. Riess will describe how his team of researchers discovered the acceleration of the Universe and why understanding the nature of dark energy presents one of the greatest remaining challenges in astrophysics and cosmology.

Dr. Riess received his bachelor's degree in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1992 and his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1996.

In 2011, he was named a co-winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics and was awarded the Albert Einstein Medal for his leadership in the High-z Supernova Search Team's discovery that the expansion rate of the universe is accelerating, a phenomenon widely attributed to a mysterious, unexplained "dark energy" filling the universe. The discovery was named by Science magazine in 1998 as "the Breakthrough Discovery of the Year."

His accomplishments have been recognized with a number of other awards including a MacArthur Fellowship in 2008, the Gruber Foundation Cosmology Prize in 2007 (shared) and the Shaw Prize in Astronomy in 2006.

Refreshments will be served prior to the lecture at 4:00 p.m. in the foyer outside of the Hemisphere Room.

This lecture series is supported by an endowment from Dr. James R. Neff in honor of his parents – Everett & Florine Neff.