The Norman Transcript

Local news

May 31, 2009

Einstein's Time

Bruce A. Twarog, a professor in the department of physics and astronomy at the University of Kansas, will be the speaker for the International Year of Astronomy at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History on the University of Oklahoma campus.

Weather permitting, the talk will be followed by solar observing and night sky observing on the "Buffalo Walk" in front of the museum.

Organizers provided an abstract of Twarog's talk:

"Many of the fundamental concepts of modern physics often appear ad hoc and counterintuitive to the average person outside of physics, making it difficult to convince the public of the validity of the conclusions derived from these concepts, even when supported by experimental evidence.

"An exquisite exception to this pattern is special relativity, developed by Einstein as part of the revolution that overtook physics in the early part of the 20th century. We will examine why one simple assumption about the nature of light altered forever our vision of space and time while providing currently the only practical means of undertaking interstellar space travel or time travel."

Twarog's research focuses on observations of stars and star clusters with the goal of understanding the evolution of stars and the structure and evolution of the Milky Way.

He received his Ph.D. from Yale University and joined the faculty at KU in 1982 after spending two years at the University of Texas, Austin.

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