Journey From the Beginning of the Universe: How Did We Get There?

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Dr. John Mather

Nobel Prize Winner

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Monday March 2, 2020

Reception 11:30 AM, Lecture 12:00 PM, Book signing 1:10 PM

ESSIC Conference Room 4102, 5825 University Research Court, College Park 20740




In 1974, fearless physicists proposed to measure the Big Bang with a space observatory, the Cosmic Background Explorer, COBE. Launched in 1989, it provided the beginning of precision cosmology, supporting the expanding universe concept (misnamed the Big Bang Theory), and establishing the initial conditions for the formation of galaxies, stars, planets, and people. Our history includes self-heating by gravitational energy release in the collapse of gas clouds, self-heating by nuclear fusion in stars, explosive energy release and recycling of stellar material in supernovae, and eventual formation of planets. New space and ground observatories are poised to reveal even more. The James Webb Space Telescope, planned for launch in March 2021, will be able to see a bumblebee at the distance of the Moon. With JWST, astronomers will search for the first stars and galaxies, examine star and planet formation hidden inside dusty gas clouds, and observe exoplanets as they transit in front of their stars.


John Mather is the senior project scientist for the James Webb Space Telescope at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, where he has worked since 1976. He was the lead scientist for the COBE mission and shared the Nobel Prize in Physics (2006) for this work.


11:30-12:00PM   Reception. This will be held in ESSIC’s large conference room, room 4102. Refreshments will be served.

12:00-1:00 PM      Lecture. Webinar is provided

1:10-1:30 PM        Book signing*. This will be held in ESSIC’s small conference room, room 4056.

*The book, “The Very First Light“, by Dr. John Mather tells us how scientists changed the way we view the universe. A limited number of books are provided at the author’s price of $12 per copy.


Please RSVP to this event by Wednesday, February 25.

Note: Please note that this RSVP form does not guarantee you a seat or a book at the event. Seats and books will be first come, first served.

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Event number: 857 457 136
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Mar 09 2020




John Xun Yang