OGDEN, Utah – Weber State University’s College of Science will host the president of the American Astronomical Society (AAS), Robert Kirshner, Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. in Lind Lecture 125-126 as part of the bi-annual Ritchey Lecture Series.
Kirshner, who in addition to leading the AAS also serves as a professor of science at Harvard University, will discuss the bizarre nature of the accelerating expansion of the universe since the Big Bang in “A Blunder Undone: Albert Einstein and the Accelerating Universe.”
In 1998, Kirshner’s work on the accelerating expansion of the universe was named the “Science Breakthrough of the Year” by Science Magazine. He has published more than 200 articles and research papers on supernovae, galaxies and the expansion of the universe.
In his presentation, Kirshner will discuss Einstein’s proposal of a cosmological constant, often referred to as Einstein’s biggest blunder. In 1917, Einstein introduced the cosmological constant as part of his original equations for his General Theory of Relativity so that his theory would not predict an expanding universe. After the 1929 discovery that the universe is expanding, the scientific community generally dismissed Einstein’s cosmological constant as one of his rare mistakes. Over time, advances and discoveries in science were able to validate Einstein’s theory and illustrate his genius yet again.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of some of Einstein’s most profound contributions to science, including his Special Theory of Relativity.
Kirshner’s presentation is a World Year of Physics commemoration activity.
The event is free to the public.