"Exploding Stars, Dark Energy, and the Runaway Universe"
by Jeffrey Silverman
Some of the most powerful objects in the Universe are exploding stars known as supernovae. These violent stellar deaths are so bright that they can outshine the entire galaxy in which they are found. Observations of very distant supernovae provided the first evidence that our Universe is accelerating in its expansion, likely due to a repulsive and mysterious "dark energy." Jeff will talk about how we find and study supernovae and why you should care about them (aside from the simple fact that big explosions are awesome!).
Jeffrey Silverman uses some of the biggest telescopes in the world to observe supernovae. During his life he has bounced between CA and TX, being born and raised in Anaheim, CA (just down the street from Disneyland), going to college at Rice University in Houston, TX, receiving his PhD from UC Berkeley, and now working as a Postdoctoral Researcher at UT Austin. In addition to staying up all night to look through telescopes, Dr. Jeff likes to stay up all night to watch movies, go to concerts (both punk rock and classical), and play darts.