James Bullock, University of California, Irvine
The Universe on the grandest scales is a vast network of galaxies. Dotted along an expanding cosmic web, galaxies shine with the collective light of thousands to billions of stars. More than just collections of stars however, galaxies are dynamic ecosystems. They allow multiple generations of stars to build new atoms that had never before existed. They foster complex chemistry, even organic chemistry, in an otherwise sterile universe. One galaxy, the Milky Way, is special to us. Without it, we would not exist. On clear nights, far from the glare of cities, the Milky Way reveals itself only as a shadowy white band behind the more dazzling sea of stars and wandering planets. Figuring out the true nature of our Galaxy was not easy, but the journey was ultimately triumphant. This is the story of how it happened, and how, once revealed, the Milky Way lead the way to a revolution in our understanding of Universe’s origins, its makeup, and possibly its ultimate fate.
Dr. James Bullock is an astrophysicist who studies the Milky Way, dark matter, and the assembly of galaxies. Originally from Toledo, he is now is a Professor of Physics & Astronomy at the University of California, Irvine, where he directs the Center for Cosmology. An author of more than 100 scientific articles, Bullock is a Fellow the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the recipient of multiple teaching awards. He co-hosted the National Geographic Special “Inside the Milky Way” and appears regularly on the Science Channel’s “How the Universe Works”.
These talks are held in partnership with the Cleveland Museum of Natural History at 8:00pm on Thursday nights. Admission is free to the general public; parking is available in the museum lot for a $6 charge.