The Elements and Astronomy
The star stuff we are made of has an interesting history. Astronomy has contributed to fundamental knowledge about the elements that make up our everyday life while using the same elements to understand the properties of the cosmos. This talk discusses the connection between the elements and astronomy past, present and future.
I grew up in Washington state, where I took an interest in Astronomy but had a hard time seeing through the clouds. I studied Astronomy at USC as an undergraduate, and worked with the professors there studying helioseismology with data from the 60 ft. solar tower at Mt. Wilson. I spent 6 years as a graduate student studying Astronomy at the University of Hawai'i, where I helped research elemental abundances in very old stars and carried out thesis work on the effects major mergers in very luminous galaxies. For the last year I have worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena and at Caltech, mainly observing the detailed properties of the interstellar medium in distant galaxies with an aim towards understanding galaxy formation and evolution and working with a research group at Carnegie aiming to measure the rate of expansion of the universe to great precision.
"What's Up?" in this month will be presented by Chris Butler