Gravitational Lensing in a Wine Glass

On May 20, 2009, Prof Patricia Burchat, the Chair of the Department of Physics at Stanford University, presented the last lecture in the 10th season of the Silicon Valley Astronomy Lectures. She gave what I have found to be the best demonstration of gravitational lensing. Of course, there are many examples of gravitational lensing in […]

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Modern Cosmology was Founded on Luck

The Hubble Constant, which describes the velocity-distance relationship for galaxies, is the foundation of modern cosmology. It establishes the time and distance scale of the universe and the dynamic nature of the galaxies since the beginning of time. It is all the more remarkable that the original data Edwin Hubble took was flawed.

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Book Review: The Alchemy of the Heavens by Ken Croswell

Astrophysicists sometimes use familiar words, but in a very different way than we are used to. Take for example the term metal. To an astrophysicist, a metal is any element with an atomic mass greater than Helium’s. That’s because only hydrogen and helium were created during the big bang and all higher atomic mass nuclei […]

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Making Career Path Decisions

Last year, the convergence of two events gave me reason to articulate my recommendations on how to decide on a career path. Our niece stayed with us for more than a year and we watched her struggle trying to decide what she wanted to do with her life.  Anyone who is over 50 years old […]

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