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Astronomer to discuss merging scientific fields

by Judy Hughes, communications and marketing last modified Oct 25, 2013 02:01 PM

Award-winning University of California-Irvine astronomer Virginia Trimble will discuss overlaps in the scientific fields of physics, chemistry and astronomy during her Nov. 21 talk at the University of Louisville.

Trimble will give the free 2013 Bullitt lecture in astronomy at 6 p.m. in Gheens Science Hall and Rauch Planetarium. The annual lecture and reception afterward are intended for the general public.

Her presentation is “Blurring the Boundaries among Physics, Chemistry and Astronomy: The Moseley and Bohr Centenaries.” It was 100 years ago when scientific contributions by Danish physicist Niels Bohr on atomic number and English physicist Henry Moseley on atomic structure marked significant inroads by physics into the field of chemistry.

Trimble, who has been vice president of the International Astronomical Union and the American Astronomical Society, received the society’s 2010 George Van Biesbroeck Prize for her longtime service to the profession. She studies the history of astronomy and the structure and evolution of galaxies, stars and the universe; she also produces an annual review of much of the scientific literature in astrophysics.

The physics and astronomy department and the Gheens Science Hall and Rauch Planetarium present the annual Bullitt lectures through an endowment established by the family of former U.S. Solicitor General William Marshall Bullitt.

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