Join OCA for an evening of looking at the universe with X-ray vision. Brian Hart, of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at UCI, will discuss the history of X-ray astronomy, talk about his own research into the shape of galaxy clusters, the largest gravitationally-bound structures in the Universe, which are filled with a thin atmosphere of hot (~10-100 million degrees) gas that shines brilliantly in the X-rays.
Mr Hart will discuss the applications of his research -- to cosmology and to understanding how galaxies form. The talk will conclude with a preview of what we can expect from the latest missions, including Chandra, XMM/Newton, Suzaku, and Constellation-X, under NASA's "Structure and Evolution of the Universe" program.
Brian Hart comes to Southern California from Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota, where he grew up wanting to be an astrophysicist. He received his B.A. in Physics and Mathematics in 2002 from Hamline University, a small liberal-arts university in Saint Paul, and moved to Irvine in 2002 to study galaxy clusters in X-rays with Professor David Buote, of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at UCI. Mr Hart received an M.S. Physics in 2004 from UCI and is currently a candidate for the Ph.D. in Physics.
Mr Hart uses the distribution of mass in samples of galaxy clusters to probe the amount of dark matter and dark energy in the Universe, as well as answer questions about the physical processes involved in galaxy formation in clusters. He is currently using data from the Chandra X-Ray Observatory -- now in orbit -- in his studies. In his spare time,
Hart enjoys singing, reading, and the outdoors, and also runs a new, public science outreach program called Southern California Science Cafe, to explain science topics to everyday people in ways that make sense, and in comfortable, Cafe settings.