Life, the universe subjects of new UW-Whitewater lecture series
October 30, 2012
Students and community members are invited to learn how biologists, geologists and astrophysicists answer questions about the age of the universe and its contents.
"The Age of Life, the Universe and Everything" is the theme of the inaugural Observatory Lecture Series presented by the UW-Whitewater Science Outreach Office and College of Letters and Sciences.
"Humans have been working on the 'age problem' for as long as there have been people willing to ask the question, and they have arrived at many different answers, some of which were culturally or religiously determined," said Paul Rybski, associate professor of physics at UW-Whitewater.
The series opens Friday, Nov. 2, with "How old is life on Earth, and how do we know it?" by Daryle Waechter-Brulla, chair of the UW-Whitewater Department of Biological Sciences. Waechter-Brulla will discuss how people have determined the ages of organisms through history, from the counting of tree rings to the current molecular dating techniques.
Rex Hanger, associate professor of geography and geology, will present "How old is the Earth, and how do we know it?" on Friday, Nov. 9, in conjunction with the UW-Whitewater Science Discovery Day, an open house for prospective students, area schools, the campus community and the public.
All of the one-hour lectures will take place on Fridays at 8 p.m. in Upham Hall, room 140, followed by a public viewing session in the UW-Whitewater Observatory until 10 p.m.
The complete lecture schedule is:
- Nov. 2: "How old is life on Earth and how do we know it?" by Daryle Waechter-Brulla, associate professor of biological sciences
- Nov. 9: "How old is the Earth and how do we know it?" by Rex Hanger, associate professor of geography and geology
- Nov. 16: "How old are the sun and stars and how do we know it?" by Paul M. Rybski, associate professor of physics
- Nov. 30: "How old is the Milky Way and how do we know it?" by Robert Benjamin, associate professor of physics
- Dec. 7: "How old is the Universe, and how do we know it?" by Peter Timbie, professor of physics at UW-Madison
Free parking is available in the unmarked stalls in the Upham Hall parking lot, Lot 14, at the intersection of Starin Road and Prairie Street.