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LESSONS FROM THE PACIFIC COAST, THE HATFIELD CENTER, NEWPORT, OREGON

POSTED JULY 28 AT 11:06 AM

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PULSARS

What are they good for?


Topic 16:

Thursday, November 18, 2010, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center/Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, Burlington Waterfront, Burlington, VT.
A mind expanding thought provoking evening for adults, exploring challenging topics with industry experts.

What can pulsars tell us about an extrasolar planetary system? How do pulsars inform us about things in space never seen before? Does the study of pulsars help with our understanding of potential extraterrestrial intelligences? Join us in conversation with Joanna Rankin, Professor, Department of Physics, UVM.

Free event for 21+ with cash bar and themed drink; FREE hors d'oeuvres sponsored by VT Sigma Xi, Scientific Research Society.



 

A brief bio about Joanna:

Joanna Rankin has long been engaged in trying to understand pulsars, the radio "lighthouses" that are produced when massive stars undergo supernovae and die. She teaches in the Physics Department of the University of Vermont and works with students there on pulsar problems. She has been using the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico for her studies ever since she was a graduate student, and she now also collaborates with colleagues and uses instruments in a number of countries, India, Holland, and Russia for instance. She studied for her Ph.D. at the University of Iowa under Prof. James Van Allen.

Joanna Ranken, Professor, UVM
White dwarf

Some questions Joanna will be considering in her presentation:

  • How can there be stars that we cannot see? Why can't you see any pulsars?
     
  • What do you see or hear with a radio telescope?
     
  • How big and how dense are pulsars?
     
  • How fast do they rotate? How fast can they rotate?
     
  • How far away is the closest pulsar? Where is the most distant pulsar that we know about?
     
  • When and how were pulsars discovered?
     
  • What were the two Nobel Prizes given to pulsar astronomers for?
     
  • Why are people still studying pulsars? What do you still have to learn?


Links recommended by Joanna:

Cafe Scientifique questions or topic suggestions?
Please contact Linda Bowden at lbowden@echovermont.org

Our next Cafe Scientifique will be Thursday, January 20, 2010.

Café Scientifique is sponsored by:
Sigma Xi

 

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