KIPAC Public Lectures
Have you ever wondered how the Universe works or how it began? Have you ever been curious about how many planets there are out there? Or what it would be like to fall into a black hole?
While we can't hold talks and events in person right now, KIPAC will be hosting public lectures online every two weeks, given by KIPAC astrophysicists. KIPAC Public Lectures are free and open to all.
Watch our events online
- Connect to our next event live using Zoom (meeting ID 992 1875 1554)
- Alternatively, you can connect to our live events, or watch any of our past events on our YouTube channel
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Past Public Lectures
Campus, William R. Hewlett Teaching Center, Room 201
Most of us have heard of black holes and supernovas, galaxies and the Big Bang. But few of us understand more than the bare facts about the universe we call home. What is really out there? How did it all begin? Where are we going? Jo Dunkley begins in Earth's neighborhood, explaining the nature of the Solar System, the stars in our night sky, and the Milky Way. She then moves out past nearby galaxies and back in time to the horizon of the observable universe, which contains over a hundred billion galaxies, each with billions of stars, many orbited by planets, some of which may host life.
Hearing the Thunder and Seeing the Lightning: A Gravitational Wave Detection of Colliding Neutron Stars
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Kavli Auditorium, 2575 Sand Hill Rd, Menlo Park, CA 94025
On August 17, 2017 the LIGO/Virgo detectors heard the gravitational-wave chirp from a pair of colliding neutron stars. This was accompanied by a burst of energetic gamma rays. Twelve hours later, a new “star” appeared on the sky, only to disappear over the ensuing two weeks.
NVIDIA Auditorium (475 Via Ortega, Stanford, CA 94305)
Powerful instruments have led to astonishing progress in tracing the emergence of atoms, galaxies, stars and planets from a mysterious 'beginning' 13.8 billion years ago. An exciting development has been the realization that many other stars are orbited by retinues of planets – some resembling our Earth (and capable of harboring life).
Campus, Hewlett Teaching Center, Room 201
Over the past few decades, astronomers have for the first time identified the major constituents of the universe. Unexpectedly, the universe hardly resembles what we thought only a couple of decades ago. The universe is filled with dark matter more abundant than ordinary matter and dark energy that is causing a runaway acceleration. We do not yet have a complete picture of this unexpected universe. Some discrepancies may be hinting at new discoveries to come.
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, 2575 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, Panofsky Auditorium
What is the Universe made of? In modern cosmology only 4% of the universe is deeply understood, while the other 96%, Dark Energy and Dark Matter, remains a mystery. The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), currently under construction, will observe billions of galaxies, billions of stars in our own galaxy the Milky Way, as well as millions of objects closer to home in the solar system. Every night over a ten year survey, LSST will observe much of the night sky, so that every portion of the sky will be imaged nearly a thousand times.
SLAC, Panofsky Auditorium, Building 053
Black holes and neutron stars, some of the most extreme objects in the Universe, were hypothesized in the first half of the twentieth century and were discovered and observed in the second half. Astronomers are embarking on a new voyage of discovery that is being led by the recent detection of gravitational radiation and the observation of massive black holes using radio telescopes. Discover what we know and what we hope to learn from these fascinating astronomical objects.