Science Cafe: Dr. Michael Bass
Free parking will be available on the top floor of the Libra parking garage, adjacent to the Physical Sciences Building.
Magic Numbers Make the Universe
Dr. Michael Bass
Emeritus Professor of Optics, Physics & ECE, CREOL
Location: Physical Sciences Building 160/161
Date: Thursday, September 17, 2015 6:30 p.m. networking, drinks and appetizers with talk beginning at 7:00 p.m.
Summary: We live on a Newtonian world in an Einsteinian universe. Our observations tell us that the universe started in what we call a Big Bang about 13.8 billion years ago and has been expanding ever since. Today, with modern technologies we can look out into the farthest reaches of the universe and also delve into its smallest sub-atomic components. What is truly staggering is that our understandings of the largest and smallest come together into something called the Standard Model. The fact that they seem to agree allows us to form a scientific cosmology that does a pretty good job of explaining what we observe. There is a nagging problem however. Our universe seems to be unique. Several numbers that characterize the universe, the values of several physical constants, have to be exactly what they are or else stars do not evolve. And, if stars do not evolve, neither do we. Stars must evolve in a certain way to produce the atoms needed for life. This talk is about the cosmology we have and the perhaps very unusual universe it leads us to think we are in. Then again, the universe we are in may not be that unusual at all.
About Dr. Michael Bass:
Mike Bass is Professor Emeritus of Optics at CREOL, the College of Optics & Photonics. From December 1987 until December 1992 he served as UCF’s Vice President for Research. Mike received his B.S. in Physics from Carnegie-Mellon University in 1960 and his M.S. in 1962 and his Ph. D. in 1964 in Physics from the University of Michigan. He is a Life Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the Optical Society of America (OSA) and the Laser Institute of America (LIA). He was elected a Foreign Member of the Russian National Academy of Engineering Science in 1994, is the 2014 recipient of the R. W. Wood Prize of the Optical Society of America and a 2013 Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.