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University of Iowa News Release

Nov. 4, 2003

Public Lecture Series Offers Talk On The Early Universe Nov. 11

The University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences department of physics and astronomy will initiate a new monthly Distinguished Public Lecture Series with a 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 11, talk by Edward Wright, (left) UCLA professor of astronomy, on "Observing the Origin of the Universe." All lectures in the series will be held Tuesdays beginning at 7:30 p.m. in Van Allen Hall, Linn Street and Iowa Avenue Wright's lecture will be in Lecture Room 2; future lectures will be in Lecture Room 1.

The lecture series is aimed at providing an introduction to the frontiers of physics and astronomy for non-specialists, including the general public, and will feature prominent speakers from the University of Iowa and other institutions.

A 1992 recipient of NASA's Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal for his work on the Cosmic Background Explorer, Wright has worked extensively in experimental cosmology, the study of the origin and eventual fate of our universe. His observations have been made with orbiting satellite telescopes, which measure light created mere minutes after the Big Bang. He will describe what scientists have learned from direct observation about the earliest times in the universe and what that may imply for the future.

In conjunction with his presentation, Wright will be a guest on "Talk of Iowa," WSUI, AM-910, at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 11.

Future scheduled lectures in the series include:

--Don Gurnett, UI professor of physics and astronomy, will speak on "The Search for Water at Mars" at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, February 3.

--Jill Tarter, director and Bernard M. Oliver Chair for SETI at the SETI Institute, Mountain View, Calif., will speak on "Life, the Universe, and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence in a Nutshell" at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 23.

--Dan Ralph, associate professor of physics, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y, will speak on "Nano-Science and Technology: A Progress Report" at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 13.

--Mary Hall Reno, UI professor of physics and astronomy, will speak on "Neutrinos: Messengers from the Biggest Explosions in the Universe" at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 4.

The series is presented by the Department of Physics and Astronomy, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the Office of the Vice President for Research.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 301, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Gary Galluzzo, Writer, 319-384-0009,