Bullitt Lecture in Astronomy 2019

The Physics & Astronomy Department’s Bullitt Lecture is a free lecture aimed at the general public. Since 2001, the Physics & Astronomy Department’s Bullitt Lecture has presented a distinguished astrophysicist to a Louisville audience in the Gheens Science Hall and Rauch Planetarium. Gale Christianson, Hubble's biographer at Indiana State, Fred Espenak, an eclipse expert at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, stellar astrophysicists James Kaler of U. Illinois, C. R. O'Dell of Vanderbilt and Caty Pilachowski of Indiana U, cosmologists Fang Li Zhi of Arizona, J. Richard Gott of Princeton, Alan Dressler of the Carnegie Observatories and lunar experts Ferenc Pavlics of GM and the Apollo project and Phillip Abel of NASA have been Bullitt Lecturers. College and high school students, teachers, and many others from the community interested in the impact and excitement that astrophysics has generated have attended Bullitt Lectures in large numbers. The public and members of the University community are warmly invited!

The Lecture is endowed through a grant from the family of William Marshall Bullitt, the Solicitor General of the United States under President William Howard Taft. Here is a brief biography and description of his connection to the University of Louisville.

We also thank the Society for Woman in Physics and Astronomy (SWIPA) for their support.


Probing The Distant Universe With Hubble Space Telescope

Speaker:Dr. Robert Williams
When:6:30pm, Thu. Oct. 31
Where:Gheens Science Hall & Rauch Planetarium
Parking:available from 5pm, North Info Lot and Red Reserved Lot at the College of Business (gates will be up)

Dr. Edward W. (Rocky) Kolb, University of Chicago Abstract: Generally acknowledged as its most important scientific accomplishment, Hubble Telescope’s clear view of the distant universe has had an enormous impact on our understanding of deep space. Join us for an evening discussing the history of the telescope, including NASA astronauts servicing missions from the Space Shuttle. We will explore how astronomers have used the Hubble to look back in time to piece together the formation of structure in the universe shortly after the Big Bang, and how small perturbations in the early universe grew to form the giant galaxies that now fill the cosmos.

Artist of the composition of the Universe Robert Williams is currently Astronomer Emeritus at Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, and the Donald Osterbrock Distinguished Professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz. From 1993-98 he served as Director of STScI, which with Goddard Space Flight Center operates Hubble Space Telescope for NASA and ESA. Before assuming his present positions Williams spent 8 years in Chile as Director of Cerro Tololo Interamerican Observatory, the national observatory of the U.S. in the southern hemisphere. Prior to that time he was Professor of Astronomy at the University of Arizona in Tucson for 18 years. Dr. Williams' research specialties include novae, nebulae, accretion disks, and spectroscopic analysis. Williams received his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley in 1962, and a Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of Wisconsin in 1965. He was Senior Fulbright Professor at University College London from 1972-73, and received the Alexander von Humboldt Award from the German government in 1991. In 1998 he was awarded the Beatrice Tinsley Prize of the American Astronomical Society for his leadership of the Hubble Deep Field (see figure on the right) project, which revealed in remarkable detail the evolution of galaxies from the early universe to the present time. For this project he was awarded the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal in 1999.

Dr. Williams is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and is Past-President of the International Astronomical Union. In 2016 he was awarded the Karl Schwarzschild Medal for career achievement in astrophysics by the German Astronomische Gesellschaft. He is a strong advocate for science education and has lectured around the world on astronomical discoveries and the importance of science in modern society. He resides in Baltimore with his wife Elaine, a pediatric psychologist who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of autism disorders. They are co-founders of a non-profit organization in Baltimore that places adults with autism in the workplace.

Bullitt Lecture 2018 Flyer