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Hutton Honors College

 — Indiana University

The Mystery of Dark Energy and the Accelerating Universe
An Undergraduate Lunch with
Adam Riess, 2011 Nobel Laureate in Physics

The Twenty-third Konopinski Memorial Lecturer in Physics

Wednesday, March 20, 12:30-2 p.m.
Harlos House (1331 E. Tenth St.)
SIGN-UP REQUIRED: See details below.

Physicists concluded that with the "Big Bang" 13.7 billion years ago the universe began expanding and was continuing to do so although at a slower rate in recent times. In the late 1990s, contrary to current theory, Adam Riess and Brian Schmidt leading one group and Saul Perlmutter leading a competing group made a fascinating, unexpected, and still puzzling discovery that won them the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics: The expansion of the universe is speeding up! Other groups have since confirmed their measurements and their discovery that some mysterious new process is causing galaxies to recede from one another at an increasing rate. Although the exact cause is not known, astrophysicists have given it a name—"dark energy."

Join Adam Riess for lunch and an informal conversation that can range as widely as you would like, from the mysteries of "dark energy" to other interesting issues in science and science policy.

Riess is the Thomas J. Barber Professor in Space Studies at Johns Hopkins University, a Distinguished Astronomer and senior member of the science staff at the Space Telescope Science Institute, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. His many awards include the Albert Einstein Medal, the MacArthur "genius" grant, the Shaw Prize in Astronomy, and the Gruber Cosmology Prize (shared).

SIGN-UP INFO: If you are interested in attending this undergraduate lunch, please e-mail Anna Duquaine (, indicating you wish to sign up for the "Riess" lunch and include your name, e-mail address, year in school, and field(s) of study. This program is open to any IU undergraduate through this sign-up process; but space is limited so we will let you know by e-mail if a space was available when you replied. The lunch is co-sponsored by the Hutton Honors College and the Wells Scholars Program.

Riess will deliver the Joseph and Sophia Konopinski annual public lecture in physics and astronomy on "Supernovae and the Discovery of the Accelerating Universe" on Tuesday, March 19, 7:30 p.m. in Whittenberger Auditorium in the IU Memorial Union.

Spring 2013 Programs | Extracurricular Home