The University of Michigan's Department of Physics hosts the annual Ta-You Wu Lecture, which is one of the most prestigious lecture events in our Department. The Lectureship was endowed in 1991 through generous gifts from the University of Michigan Alumni Association in Taiwan. It is named in honor of Michigan Physics alumnus and honorary Doctor of Science, Ta-You Wu, one of the central figures of the 20th century in the Chinese and Taiwanese physics communities.
2014 Ta-You Wu Distinguished Lecturer
Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics
Wednesday October 22, 2014
1800 Chemistry Building Auditorium
Please join us for a coffee and cookie reception prior to the lecture, beginning at 3:30 PM.
The reception will be held in the atrium outside of 1800 Chemistry Auditorium.
The Universe: Continuing Surprises
Over the past few decades, cosmologists have for the first time identified the major constituents of the universe. Surprisingly, the universe hardly resembles what we thought only a few decades ago. The universe is filled with dark matter that is not visible and energy that permeates all of space, causing its expansion to speed up with time. New giant telescopes planned for the next decade are likely to reveal more surprises. In her lecture, Professor Freedman will describe these recent advances.
Biographical sketch for Professor Wendy Freedman
Dr. Wendy Freedman is one of seven University Professors at the University of Chicago appointed by the president of the university. For eleven years (2003-2014) she served as the Crawford H. Greenewalt Director of the Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena, California. A native of Toronto, Canada, she received her doctorate in astronomy and astrophysics from the University of Toronto in 1984. She received a Carnegie Fellowship at the Observatories in 1984, joined the permanent faculty in 1987, and was appointed Director in 2003. She currently also chairs the Board of Directors for the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT), a 25-m optical telescope scheduled for construction in Chile in 2020.
In 2003 Dr. Freedman was elected to the National Academy of Sciences and in 2007 to the American Philosophical Society. She received the 1994 Marc Aaronson Lectureship and prize; and in 2000, she was given the McGovern Award for her work on cosmology, and elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Science. In 2002, she was awarded the American Philosophical Society’s Magellanic Prize. In 2009, she was one of three co-recipients of the Gruber Cosmology Prize. In 2012, she was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society.
Her principle research interests are in observational cosmology. Dr. Freedman was a principle investigator for a team of thirty astronomers who carried out the Hubble Key Project to measure the current expansion rate of the Universe. Her current research interests are directed at measuring both the current and past expansion rate of the universe, and in characterizing the nature of dark energy, which is causing the universe to speed up its expansion. She is the Principal Investigator of a new large program to use the Spitzer satellite to measure the Hubble constant to an accuracy of 3%.
Previous Lectures in This Series
- 1992 Nobel laureate C. N. Yang: Considerations on Carbon 60
- 1993 Abraham Pais (1918-2000): George Uhlenbeck Remembered
- 1994 Nobel laureate Joseph Taylor: Binary Pulsars and Relativistic Gravity
- 1995 Nobel laureate T. D. Lee: Symmetry and Asymmetry
- 1996 Nobel laureate Pierre-Gilles de Gennes (1932-2007): Principles of Adhesion
- 1997 Paul C. W. Chu: The Path of Zero Resistance
- 1998 Benoit B. Mandelbrot (1924-2010): Fractals and Scale-Invariant Roughness in
- 1999 Nobel laureate Steven Chu: Seeing and Holding onto Atoms and Biological Molecules
- 2000 Nobel laureate Horst L. Stormer: Fractional Electronic Charges and other Tales from Flatland
- 2001 Freeman Dyson: Is Life Analog or Digital?
- 2002 David Wilkinson (1935-2002): The Cosmic Microwave Backround Radiation
- 2003 Sir Martin Rees: Where is Cosmology Going?
- 2004 Nobel laureate David J. Gross: Asymptotic Freedom and the Emergence of QCD (Or How I Won the Nobel Prize)
- 2005 Nobel laureate Anthony J. Leggett: Does the Everyday World Really Obey Quantum Mechanics?
- 2006 Nobel laureate Eric A. Cornell: Is Warm Glass More Sticky Than Cold Glass? Temperature and Casimir Force
- 2007 100th Birthday Celebration of the late Ta-You Wu: Distinguished Lecturer, Frank H. Shu, The Formation of Stars and Planetary Systems
- 2008 Nobel laureate Frank Wilczek: The Universe is a Strange Place
- 2009 Helen Quinn: Wandering Planets, Falling Apples, Curving Spaces, Whirling Stars: How Unraveling the Mysteries of Gravity Has Taught Us About the Universe.
- 2010 Nobel laureate Samuel C. C. Ting: An Experiment to Explore the Mysteries of Space: The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer on the International Space Station
- 2011 Former Director of the Laboratoire d’ Optique Appliquée at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Technique Avancée & Professor at the Ecole Polytechnique (France) Gérard Mourou: Laser-Based High Energy Physics
- 2012 Nobel laureate David Wineland: Superposition, Entanglement, and Raising Schrödinger's Cat
- 2013 Dennis Overbye: Confessions of a Dinosaur in the Age of New Media