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W: David Garfinkle – Three Steps to the Universe

May 27, 2009
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

The Sweet House
254 E. Fulton
Grand Rapids, MI 49503 United States

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Organized by:
Jennifer Beahan
Phone: 616-698-2342 x801
Email: jbeahan@centerforinquiry.org


If no light can escape from a black hole, then how do we know that there are any black holes? And if dark matter emits no light, then how do we know that it exists?


Please join us for David Garfinkle’s lecture: Three Steps to the Universe.

This presentation, based on Garfinkle’s recent book, will examine how knowledge is gained in astronomy. We will start with a familiar object, the Sun, and then move on to the more exotic subjects of black holes and dark matter. Along the way, we will cover the power source of the Sun and the stars, the end of massive stars in a catastrophic explosion called a supernova, the enormous outpouring of energy that results when gas falls into a black hole, and the expansion, composition, and ultimate fate of the Universe. A discussion and question-and-answer period will follow the presentation.

Meetings are open to the Public

After the meeting, join us at Vitale’s Restaurant, 834 Leonard NE, Grand Rapids, MI to socialize. View Map

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About David Garfinkle, PhD

Professor of Physics, Oakland University

David Garfinkle was born in New York City in 1958. He has a BA in physics from Princeton University and a PhD in physics from The University of Chicago. Since 1991, he has taught physics at Oakland University, in Rochester, Michigan. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) and the editor of “Matters of Gravity” the electronic newsletter of the APS Topical Group in Gravitation. Professor Garfinkle's research focuses on Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, and especially on the process of gravitational collapse and the formation of black holes. He utilizes computer simulations to study numerical relativity and the properties of strong gravitational fields. Much of his recent research has been on properties of singularities critical to gravitational collapse and cosmic censorship.