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"The Physics of Star Trek" Scheduled for 7 April 2002 at Penn State

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"Could the universe of Star Trek become a reality? Will warp drives ever be possible? How dangerous is it when you get beamed up? These questions will be topics in a free multi-media presentation titled "The Physics of Star Trek," which will be given at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, 7 April, in 100 Thomas Building on the Penn State University Park Campus. The speaker is Lawrence Krauss of Case Western Reserve University, the author of the national bestseller, also titled "The Physics of Star Trek." Krauss's presentation is the culmination of the 2001-2002 Friedman public lecture series, "Black Holes and Time Warps."

Krauss will take his audience on a warp-speed journey through the world of physics, boldly going where Star Trek has gone -- and beyond. The lecture features discussions of "Star Trek bloopers," which Krauss compiled from talks with numerous techi-Trekkers, including such distinguished physicist-Trekkers as Stephen Hawking.

"We are so excited to have Professor Krauss coming to Penn State," boasts Jane Charlton, an associate professor in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics. "So many people have been captivated by the Star Trek television series and movies," she adds. "Here is a chance to go both behind the scenes of the movies and out into the frontiers of science to see if these things we imagine can ever come true."

Krauss has lectured to popular audiences all over the country, including at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum and the Museum of Natural History in New York. "He is the most entertaining public speaker I've heard," adds Michael Eracleous, an assistant professor in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics.

Krauss is an internationally known theoretical physicist whose wide research interests include the interface between elementary-particle physics and cosmology. His studies include the early universe, the nature of dark matter, general relativity, and neutrino astrophysics. He received undergraduate degrees in both mathematics and physics from Carleton University and his doctoral degree in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1982. Presently, Krauss is the Ambrose Swasey Professor of Physics, professor of astronomy, and chairman of the Department of Physics at Case Western Reserve University. He is the author of over 180 scientific publications as well as several acclaimed popular books, the most recent titled "Atom: An Odyssey from the Big Bang to Life on Earth...and Beyond."

The "Black Holes and Time Warps" series is hosted by the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics and is largely funded by the Ronald M. and Susan J. Friedman Outreach Fund in Astronomy. Friedman is a member of the department's Board of Visitors.

[ J C / B K K ]

Jane Charlton, associate professor of astronomy and astrophysics,863-6040 or 865-0418

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