The Curiosity Drives Progress Lecture Series showcases CSE's top faculty in TED-style lightning talks. The next installment will highlight the work of two CSE professors who are unlocking the mysteries of a presence in our everyday lives, the Sun, and of our world's past, dinosaurs.
“The Star in our Backyard: The Science Behind Solar Storms” - Lindsay Glesener, Assistant Professor, Physics and Astronomy
The Sun offers us a special window into the Universe by allowing us to study astrophysics in our own neighborhood. But beyond this, there is a practical urgency to understanding the Sun because it is the driver of the space weather that surrounds and affects the Earth. The origin of this space weather lies in abrupt releases of magnetic energy on the Sun called solar flares. Glesener will describe what we currently know about the physics behind flares and what we hope to learn in the future with new telescopes. She will also discuss how students play an especially important role in the development of the next generation of telescopes and instruments to unlock the mysteries of our own star.
“Peering Through a Microscope at Gigantic Dinosaurs” - Peter Makovicky, Professor, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Predatory non-avian dinosaurs like T. rex are both the largest terrestrial carnivores and the largest bipedal animals to have ever lived. Different lineages evolved 5-10 ton body sizes at different times and on different continents during the Cretaceous. By examining microscopic details in cross-sections of their bones, we can quantify the rates at which these extreme animals grew, whether they all followed a common or divergent growth strategies, and how this relates to the biology of the only living dinosaurs, birds.
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