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"Cosmic Messengers from Deep Space Launch a New Era of Discovery" a free public lecture on January 19

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16 January 2019 Miguel Mostafá

A free public lecture titled "Cosmic Messengers from Deep Space Launch a New Era of Discovery" will begin at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 19, on the Penn State University Park campus in Berg Auditorium, 100 Huck Sciences Building. The lecture is among the events in the annual Penn State Lectures on the Frontiers of Science. The overall theme of the 2019 series is "Cosmic Clues Open New Frontiers in Space Science." No registration is required.

The speaker for this lecture is Miguel Mostafá, professor of physics and of astronomy and astrophysics at Penn State. He also is the Principal Investigator of Penn State's Astrophysical Multimessenger Observatory Network project (AMON), which is investigating the most ultra-high-energy and rare particles in the universe.

The AMON project aims to discover new phenomena by merging into one single system -- for the first time -- the world’s leading observatories of weakly interacting neutrinos, strongly interacting nuclei, and wavelike movements in the fabric of space-time. The facilities being linked by AMON collectively represent decades of research efforts by thousands of scientists.

These linked detectors of astrophysical “messengers” complement detections by the world's gamma-ray observatories. During his lecture, Mostafá will give a guided tour of how the AMON team is using all four fundamental forces in the universe to uncover mysteries in the ultra-high-energy universe.

Mostafá joined the Penn State faculty in 2013 and was elected fellow of the American Physical Society in 2016. In addition to his research achievements, his awards for teaching include the C. I. Noll Award for Excellence in Teaching sponsored by the Penn State Eberly College of Science Alumni Society, Best Teacher Awards from the Alumni Association and the Student Alumni Connection at Colorado State University, the Outstanding Mentor Award presented by Students as Leaders in Science at Colorado State University, and the Students Choice Award sponsored by the Associated Students of the University of Utah.

Mostafá earned a doctoral degree in Particle Physics in 2001 and a master's degree in Nuclear Engineering in 1996 at the Instituto Balseiro in Argentina.

The remaining events in the 2019 Penn State Lectures on the Frontiers of Science at 11:00 a.m. are:

  • January 26 in Berg Auditorium, 100 Huck Sciences Building: "Discovery of Pulsars: A graduate Student's Story" by Jocelyn Bell Burnell, recent recipient of the prestigious Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics, a visiting Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Oxford, England, and a Professorial Fellow in Physics at Mansfield College, England.
  • February 2 in Berg Auditorium, 100 Huck Sciences Building: "The quantum Universe in the Planck Era and Beyond" by J. Richard Bond, University Professor at the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics at the University of Toronto, Canada.
  • February 9 in 104 Keller Building: "Probing the Universe with Gravitational Waves" by Barry C. Barish, Linde Professor of Physics Emeritus at the California Institute of Technology and a 2017 Nobel Laureate.
  • February 16 in Berg Auditorium, 100 Huck Sciences Building: "The Ghost Particle: A New Tool for Deep-Space Discoveries" by Doug Cowen, Professor of Physics and of Astronomy and Astrophysics at Penn State.
  • February 23 in Berg Auditorium, 100 Huck Sciences Building: "The Universe Beyond Einstein: Lessons from Primordial Messengers" by Ivan Agullo, Assistant Professor of Physics at Louisiana State University.

The Penn State Lectures on the Frontiers of Science is a program of the Penn State Eberly College of Science that is designed for the enjoyment and education of residents of the Central Pennsylvania area and beyond. Financial support for the 2019 lectures is provided by the Eberly College of Science and by its Institute for Gravitation and the Cosmos. For more information or access assistance, contact the Eberly College of Science Office of Communications by telephone at 814-863-8453 or by e-mail at sci-comm@psu.edu. More information about the Penn State Lectures on the Frontiers of Science, including archived recordings of previous lectures, is online at https://science.psu.edu/frontiers.

[ Barbara K. Kennedy ]

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