Jason Kendall
William Paterson University
Amateur Astronomers Association of New York

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A Public Lecture by Jason Kendall: Inflation, Gravitational Waves and the Big Bang

A Public Lecture for the Explorers Club
Monday, May 12, 7:00 PM
$20 for non-members, free for members of the Explorers Club. RSVP Required!

From the Explorers Club page...

Breaking News, Yes, the Universe Really Did Begin 13.798 Billion Years Ago

This lecture will break some norms. It may be considered hard work by some - bear with us.

At the Explorers Club, we go a bit higher, a bit faster, a bit deeper. We go as far as we can. If a member climbs a hitherto unclimbed mountain, we may follow, either physically or vicariously - as far as we can.

Jason Kendall is returning to the club to help us follow the newest exploration of deep space and time: the recent discoveries of gravity waves. We all may not make it "to the top" but we'll follow all we can. So, grab your gear: you won't need integral calculus but you might have to tolerate an equation or two.

The Big Bang has gotten a Big Boost. The recent results from the BICEP2 collaboration has shown new results that give even more support to the Big Bang. Back near the exact moment of birth of the universe, spacetime was radically curved and energetic. This created gravitational waves that have propagated through the universe since that time. The inflationary model of the Big Bang predicts a very specific shape and size of those waves, which the BICEP team claims to have seen. In this talk, we'll learn the basics about the Big Bang, and the problems with it that forced us to consider the Inflationary scenario. Then, we'll see what this scenario predicted and how it was observed. This talk will lead you on the path to see and understand the mathematics that shows how such things were derived. Join Jason Kendall, WPU's Astronomy Liaison Coordinator, as he takes you on trip far down the rabbit hole, and gets a glimpse of what it was like near the birth of the Cosmos.

About Jason Kendall

I am currently adjunct faculty at William Paterson University teaching astronomy. I hold a Master of Science in Astronomy from New Mexico State University. I am also a board member of the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York. Since 2008, I have led the Inwood Astronomy Project which brought over 200 events of stargazing and public astronomy outreach to upper Manhattan, including the historic Inwood Star Fest, where Inwood Hill Park lights were turned off as part of the 100 Hours of Astronomy event in IYA2009. This was the first time in New York City history when park lights were turned off for an astronomy event. I've also focused on park safety due to an uptick in sexual assaults in Washington Heights and Inwood during 2011. I've worked to make our parks safer by encouraging public use of parks at night through night-time events with Park Rangers. I have led numerous "starwatching parties" and astronomy events in New York City, New Mexico, Minnesota, New Jersey, Connecticut and Texas. I am also proud to have been part of the NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador Program from 2009 to 2012. It all started way back in the fourth grade by the encouragement of two noted astronomers, Charles Schweighauser and Bart Bok. I saw Saturn through Charlie's telescope at then Sangamon State University on a clear Illinois night, and Bart encouraged me under those stars to study hard to come visit him at Kitt Peak National Observatory. I finally did make it down there about a decade after Bart passed away, and I found the favorite spots in Tucson, Arizona, where Bart and his wife Priscilla would spend when they were not gazing at the stars. Bart and his wife were pioneers in the study of the Milky Way, and their studies of the starforming regions called Bok Globules. It's even in my family. My great-grandfather was a Midwestern minister who used to preach his sermons out under the dark, cloudless nights. He always believed that getting out and experiencing the wonders of the natural world was a central part of being human. My family has always been inspired by his words: "We look up to look within." I hope that you'll join me under the stars or at one of my talks.

Come see what's up in the sky!

Jason Kendall

We look up to look within

William Paterson University Department of Physics American Astronomical Society Astronomical Society of the Pacific Amateur Astronomers Association of New York

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