Physics and Astronomy Colloquium Series
Dr. Kyle P. Watters
Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014
Humanity has always been drawn to explore the extremes of the natural world around us
- the tallest mountains, the darkest jungles, the deepest oceans. Space exploration is the
obvious continuation of this drive, and it’s hard not to persist in our quest for the extremes
- the hottest stars, the biggest galaxies, the oldest clusters. This talk explores neutron stars,
home to arguably the most extreme stellar environments in the universe.
Left behind after the supernova explosion of a massive star, a neutron star is the tiny, dense
smoldering core of a once enormous object. These incredible stars are home to some of
the most extreme conditions in the universe. They host magnetic and gravitational field
strengths so high that our standard understandings do not apply. They rotate so fast that
any normal star would be torn apart by centrifugal forces. Young neutron stars (called
pulsars) are known to emit radiation across the entire electromagnetic spectrum, from
radio waves to gamma rays. I will discuss the observational history of these objects,
ongoing projects to study them, what we have already learned, and what still remains a
mystery after several decades of research.
The Physics and Astronomy Colloquium Series is open to all members of the university. Unless otherwise noted, talks are held on Thursday afternoons at 4:00-5:20 in Mendocino 1015. Schedule is regularly updated as dates, titles, and abstracts are received. Please check back often. To receive updates about the Colloquium Series, please join our Events Mailing List. For past semesters' series, see our archive.
Fall 2014 Semester Schedule
We will update the schedule for the Fall 2014 semester as we get closer to the start of the semester. Have a great summer!
Oct. 2, 2014
Oct. 16, 2014
Oct. 30, 2014
Nov. 13, 2014
Dec. 4, 2014