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A&M-Corpus Christi Attracts High Caliber Scientists with International Physics Conference, Free Public Forums

May 08, 2017

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CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi invites the public to unravel the mysteries of the universe during two free public forums on Tuesday, May 23 in the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi University Center, Anchor Ballroom. The forums will feature Nobel Prize Winners Adam Riess and David J. Gross.

The two free forums are part of the 11th International Conference on Interconnections between Particle Physics and Cosmology (PPC) and will take place during the following times:

  • 9:30 a.m.: Local high schools, middle schools and the campus community are invited to attend a student forum featuring Riess and Gross who will discuss their research achievements and describe their path to winning a Nobel Prize. A special Q&A session will follow.
  • 7 p.m.: The Coastal Bend community is invited to attend Riess’ talk titled, “Supernovae Reveal An Accelerating Universe.” During the talk, Riess will describe how his team discovered the acceleration of the expanding Universe and why understanding the nature of dark energy presents one of the greatest remaining challenges in astrophysics and cosmology. The talk will be followed by an open forum with both Reiss and Gross.

“We are thrilled to host Professors David Gross and Adam Riess here at the TAMU-CC campus,” said Dr. Barbara Szczerbinska, Physics Professor in the Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences and the PPC Steering Committee Chair. “For many people it will be a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet and interact with two scientists who have achieved the highest possible recognition for their work in physics, and to learn from them about their journey in understanding what Universe is made of, its origin, and history.”

Riess received a Nobel Prize in Physics in 2011 for his contributions to the discovery that the Universe is expanding and is a Thomas J. Barber Professor in Space Studies at the John Hopkin’s Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. His research provided the first direct and published evidence that the expansion of the Universe was accelerating and filled with Dark Energy. He was awarded the Albert Einstein Medal for his leadership in the High-z Supernova Search Team’s discovery. The discovery was named “The Breakthrough Discovery of the Year,” by Science magazine in 1998 and NASA has documented Riess’ findings as the number one achievement of the Hubble Space Telescope to date.

Gross was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2004, along with H. David Politzer and Frank Wilczek for the discovery of “Asymptotic Freedom in the Theory of the Strong Interaction.” He is the former director of the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara and is the former Thomas Jones Professor of Mathematical Physics at Princeton University. His other awards include the Sakurai Prize, the Dirac Medal, the Oskar Klein Medal, the Harvey Prize. In 2016 he began a three-year term as the President of the American Physical Society and is the current Chancellor’s Chair Professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

“PPC2017 will bring together approximately 100 international experts in particle and nuclear physics, cosmology and astrophysics,” said Szczerbinska. “It will allow for intellectual integration in a dynamic atmosphere of intense scientific interactions right here in Corpus Christi.”

PPC will run Monday, May 22 through Friday, May 26 and will be located at the Omni Hotel in downtown Corpus Christi. The event will center on topics such as neutrino physics, gravitational waves, direct and indirect dark matter detection and dark energy amongst many others. Since its inception in 2007 at Texas A&M University, PPC has traveled to places such as Torino, Italy, CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, Seoul, South Korea, Leon, Mexico and Sao Paulo, Brazil.

      For more information on the conference and the free public forums, click here.