HAPPY BIRTHDAY, O UNIVERSE

December 11, 2011 § Leave a comment

Happy_Birthday_O_Universe_5

Our expanding universe is accelerating! The 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics was just awarded to the discoverers of the speedup. This evening will enact the origin of the expanding universe – yes, the Big Bang — through the work of a leading astrophysicist, and a new play.
Accelerator physicist and playwright Hasan Padamsee of Cornell will present a staged reading of the final scenes from his new play, Creation’s Birthday, directed by Ben Lasser, a freelance director recently transplanted from Chicago. Come see how Edwin Hubble gangs up with a moon-shine peddling janitor and a Jesuit priest to get Einstein to woefully admit his greatest blunder, and… figures out the birthday of our Universe.

But perhaps Einstein’s greatest blunder was not so far off after all. Elena Aprile at Columbia heads the world’s hunt for dark matter. The leading candidates for this mysterious part of the universe are relics of the Big Bang, the Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs). Elena and her coworkers (it’s a major international effort) look for these underground, of course, using a ton of ultra-pure liquid xenon. We’ll join the chase!

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