Shrinivas R. Kulkarni: "An Explosion of Explosions"
The heavens teem with explosive events, some cataclysmic and many catastrophic. During these explosions, the elements needed for life (such as iron) are produced. Dr. Kulkarni will summarize the history of cosmic explosions (from Nova Stella or new stars to movae and supermovae). The Palomar Transient Factory (PTF) was designed explicitly to chart the transient sky. So far, the PTF has found a new class of ultra-luminous supernovae, luminous red novae, and calcium-rich supernovae, and a trove of interesting and exotic stars.
Shri Kulkarni is the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Professor of Astronomy and Planetary Science at Caltech and Director of the Caltech Optical Observatories.