Welcome to this series of lectures of interest to scientists and the general public by international leaders in our understanding of the universe

Recent Submissions

  • Exploring the Inner Structure of Active Galactic Nuclei by Reverberation 

    Peterson, Bradley M. (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2016-10-31)
    The innermost structure of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) consists of an accretion disk surrounding a supermassive black hole and, on somewhat larger scales, rapidly moving diffuse gas. The ultraviolet through near IR ...
  • Near-field Microwave Imaging of Electrostatically Modulated Quantum Materials 

    Lai, Keji (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2016-08-29)
    Field-effect transistors (FETs) are the backbone of modern semiconductor devices. The same concept of electrostatic modulation of carrier densities has also been very fruitful for the exploration of electronic properties ...
  • The Origin of the Universe and the Arrow of Time 

    Carroll, Sean M. (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2016-04-11)
    One of the most obvious facts about the universe is that the past is different from the future. We can remember yesterday, but not tomorrow; we can turn an egg into an omelet, but can't turn an omelet into an egg. That's ...
  • Chaotic Music and Fractal Art: A Glimpse into the Neurophysiology of Aesthetics 

    Glass, Leon (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2016-01-27)
    The enjoyment of music and art are uniquely human experiences. Yet we still do not understand the attributes that lead us to appreciate some artistic works and not others. In this talk I will address how concepts in ...
  • The Coffee-Ring Effect and the Physics of Breakfast 

    Yunker, Peter (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2015-11-30)
    As anyone who has ever spilled coffee knows, liquids that contain suspended particles tend to leave ring-shaped stains when they dry. This ubiquitous phenomenon has been observed for thousands of years, but the physics ...
  • 100 years of Einstein's Gravity 

    Shoemaker, Deirdre; Cadonati, Laura (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2015-11-02)
    Curved spacetime, relativistic time, black holes and gravitational waves are just a few topics in Einstein’s theory of gravity called Special and General Relativity. Professors Cadonati and Shoemaker will take you on a ...
  • From Urination to Georgia Tech's First Ig Nobel Prize 

    Hu, David (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2015-10-19)
    How long does an elephant urinate? How quickly does a dog shake? How many eyelashes does a camel have? Asking a new and sometimes strange question is arguably the most important step in advancing science, and not any less ...
  • Turning Stars into Gold 

    Ramirez-Ruiz, Enrico (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2015-09-14)
    Most beginning chemistry students struggling with the complexities and underlying structure of the Periodic Table will simply accept the existence of the approximately 90 stable elements. Rarely does it occur to them that ...
  • Using Science to Predict the Future: An Interactive Discussion of Induction and Scientific Reasoning 

    Solomon, Tom (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2015-04-15)
    In the 17th Century, there was a profound scientific revolution, as first Galileo and then Isaac Newton overturned the commonly-accepted Aristotelian principles and replaced them with what we now call the laws of “Classical ...
  • Distant Horizons: New Worlds in an Age of Discovery 

    Larson, Shane (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2014-11-18)
    Great voyages of exploration have always been driven in large part by an insatiable curiosity to know what is beyond the furthest horizon you can see. Five hundred years ago, the European exploration of the globe was a ...
  • The Science Behind Animal-Inspired Robotics 

    Sponberg, Simon (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2014-11-10)
    The 21st Century has seen an explosion of bio-inspired technology and devices. Perhaps no where has this approach been more transformative than in the field of mobile robotics. Geckos, snakes, and even cockroaches have ...
  • How to Become a Better Cook by Bringing Science to the Kitchen 

    Yosses, William (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2014-11-12)
    In this talk, we will bring parallels of science and cooking to the fore. Using a wide variety of kitchen cooking techniques whose inner workings on the molecular level can be explained through chemistry and physics we ...
  • How Nature Harvests Sunlight: The Physics of Photosynthesis 

    Schulten, Klaus J. (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2014-11-03)
    Photosynthesis is one of the great-impact inventions of biological evolution. Indeed, life on Earth is fueled energy-wise mainly by sun light. Many, so-called photosynthetic, life forms harvest sun light directly, for ...
  • The Astrophysics of Supermassive Black Holes 

    Ballantyne, David (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2014-10-21)
    Black holes are perhaps the most mysterious and enigmatic objects that one can imagine. Their gravitational fields are so strong that light is unable to escape their grasp, and even fundamental quantities such as space ...
  • Illustrated Special Relativity Through its Paradoxes 

    de Pillis, John (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2014-04-02)
    John de Pillis discusses the Fusion of Linear Algebra, Graphics, and Reality. This lecture is a part of the Inquiring Minds Lecture Series.
  • Cosmic Rays: Alien Invaders from Outer Space 

    Otte, Nepomuk (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2013-12-02)
    Cosmic rays are microscopic, charged particles that permanently bombard Earth from outer space. 100 years after their discovery their origin is still a mystery. It is also not clear how cosmic rays can obtain energies that ...
  • Baby Galaxies: The First Steps toward the Milky Way 

    Wise, John (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2013-11-18)
    Our Milky Way is a beautiful spiral galaxy and has been constantly growing since the beginning of time. How did the ancestors of the Milky Way form and look in the first billion years of the universe? Before galaxies form, ...
  • Superposition, Entanglement, and Raising Schrödinger's Cat 

    Wineland, David J. (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2013-10-21)
    Research on precise control of quantum systems occurs in many laboratories throughout the wor1d, for fundamental research, new measurement techniques, and more recently for quantum information processing. I will briefly ...
  • How the Planck Constant is Better than a Kilogram Artifact, or How the History of Measuring Physics Constants Will Lead to a “New” International System of Metric Units 

    Steiner, Richard (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2013-09-30)
    For over 200 years, the metric system has been the standard for comparing measurements in science and industry. Formal procedures were adopted about 125 years ago to create the International System (SI) of units, and it ...
  • Pattern Formation in Nature: Why is the Universe not Boring? 

    Morris, Stephen (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2013-02-04)
    The universe is not a rigid clockwork, but neither is it formless and random. Instead, it is filled with highly organized, evolved structures that have somehow emerged from the simple rules of physics. Many natural systems ...

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