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Watson Lecture - What Cosmic Fireworks Unveil About the Universe

Wednesday, February 17, 2021
5:00pm to 6:00pm
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Online Event
Mansi Kasliwal, Assistant Professor of Astronomy, Division of Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy, Caltech,
  • Public Event

Our dynamic universe is ablaze with cosmic fireworks. Stars explode and send out beacons of light that are a million to a billion times brighter than our sun. Fireworks generated in these explosions are what synthesize most of the elements in our periodic table: while some explosions, called supernovae, create the lighter elements, mergers involving compact stars, called neutron stars, synthesize half of the elements in the periodic table that are heavier than iron.

In her lecture, Kasliwal, this year's Biedebach Memorial Lecturer, will explain how astronomers discover these cosmic fireworks with robotic telescopes and how they have undertaken a global follow-up campaign to characterize these energetic and ephemeral events. She will also discuss how astronomers combine information from multiple cosmic messengers—light, neutrinos, and gravitational waves—to gain a more comprehensive understanding of our universe.

This Zoom webinar is free and open to the public. Advance registration is required.


Each Watson Lecture will begin at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time as a Zoom Webinar
with live audience Q&A at the end. Please note the new start time. At 8 p.m. Pacific Time the recorded lecture (without Q&A) will be posted on Caltech's YouTube channel.

About the Speaker

Mansi Kasliwal is Assistant Professor of Astronomy at Caltech.

About the Series

Since 1922, The Earnest C. Watson Lecture Series has brought Caltech's most innovative scientific research to the public. The series is named for Earnest C. Watson, a professor of physics at Caltech from 1919 until 1959. Spotlighting a small selection of the pioneering research Caltech's faculty is currently conducting, the Watson Lectures are geared toward a general audience, as part of the Institute's ongoing commitment to benefiting the local community through education and outreach. Through a gift from the estate of Richard C. Biedebach, the lecture series is able to highlight assistant professors' research each season.

Many past Watson Lectures are available in a playlist on YouTube.

For more information, please contact The Caltech Ticket Office by email at [email protected].