Colloquium presentation by Barkhouse on March 28
John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences
Contact: Karen Ryba/Phone: 701-777-4761
March 25, 2008
Barkhouse to be Featured Speaker of
UND'''s Space Studies''' Colloquium
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â€œShedding Light on Dark Energy'
(Grand Forks, North Dakota): Dr. Wayne Barkhouse, Assistant Professor for the University of North Dakota (UND) Department of Physics, will be the featured guest speaker for a colloquium being hosted by UND's Space Studies' Department on Friday, March 28 at 4:00 p.m. in Ryan Hall (Room 111) located on the University of North Dakota (UND) campus. Barkhouse's presentation, entitled â€œShedding Light on Dark Energy', is free and open to the public. All faculty, staff and students are encouraged to attend.
One decade ago, the astrophysics community was shaken to its core with the announcement that the expansion rate of the Universe was speeding up rather than slowing down due to gravity. This discoveryï¿½"corroborated at the time by two independent teams searching for supernovaeï¿½"indicates that the Universe is filled with a mysterious negative pressure or â€œDark Energy'. For the past 10 years, theorists have invoked numerous mechanisms to help explain this force, including Einsteinï¿½s cosmological constant, extra dimensions, quintessence, and even hypothesizing the breakdown of General Relativity on cosmological scales.
To acquire a deeper understanding of dark energy, the Dark Energy Task Force (jointly commissioned by NASA, DOE, and NSF) has recommended that an aggressive program be established to fully characterize dark energy. A part of this process includes support for a new large-area, ground-based optical survey to chart the position and brightness of several hundred million galaxies out to a redshift of order unity. The leading contender that will satisfy these requirements is the Dark Energy Survey (DES).
The DES is a 5000 square degree photometric survey that will image the South Galactic Cap in multiple filters (griz), using a new 3 sq. deg. CCD camera mounted to the Blanco 4-meter telescope in Chile. The nature of dark energy will be probed utilizing four independent but complementary techniques: the redshift distribution of galaxy clusters, weak gravitational lensing by large-scale structure, the angular correlation of galaxies as imprinted in the baryon acoustic oscillations, and supernova distances. As a member of the DES, Barkhouse will explain how these techniques will allow us to unravel the mystery of dark energy.
About Space Studies: The Department of Space Studies offers a program leading to a Master of Science degree. This interdisciplinary program studies the conditions and implications of humankindï¿½s entry into space: including the political, legal, technical, scientific, economic, and historical impacts on a national and international level. Designed to prepare the student for positions in the commercial and governmental sectors of the rapidly growing field of space exploration and development, the Space Studies M.S. is offered on campus and over the Internet. The Department of Space Studies is consistently innovative in the delivery of education services, and is now planning for the creation of a Ph.D. program offered on campus and at a distance. Students with a variety of professional backgrounds from all over the world participate in our program.
About UND Aerospace: UND Aerospace, which includes the Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences at the University of North Dakota and the UND Aerospace Foundation (UNDAF), is an international leader in collegiate and contract aviation education and training services flying over 100,000 hours per year in over 120 aircraft. UNDAF also has facilities in Spokane, Washington, with Spokane Falls Community College; Lumberton, North Carolina, with Robeson Community College; Phoenix, Arizona, in conjunction with Chandler-Gilbert Community College; and Crookston, Minnesota, with the University of Minnesota in addition to its home-base in Grand Forks, North Dakota. With more than 1,900 students from throughout the world, the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences is the second largest college at the University of North Dakota. Undergraduate and graduate programs leading to a variety of rewarding careers in aerospace are offered through five different academic departments: aviation, atmospheric sciences, computer science, earth system science and policy, and space studies. The UND Aerospace training complex is the most technologically advanced environment for aerospace education, training and research in the world.
In 2008, UND Aerospace will be celebrating its 40th anniversary. A series of regional alumni gatherings will be held across the country, as well as several events during UND's Homecoming and 125th anniversary on October 13-18. For an updated listing of events, see www.undaerospace.com or www.undalumni.org.
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