Carroll College, Helena Montana

Public Lecture Series

The 'Discovering the Universe' Public Lecture Series

As an astrophysicist, it is my pleasure to give an ongoing series of public astronomy lectures here at Carroll College, approximately once a month while classes are in session. These are open to anyone who wants to learn a little bit more about this thrilling science. Astronomy is a wonderfully visual subject with lots of exciting pictures taken by ground telescopes, space probes, and of course the Hubble Space Telescope, so I try to include lots of these images in my talks. I give these lectures in Simperman Hall room 101/202, (building #10 on this campus map). Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or need directions.

Upcoming Presentations:

  • "Will the Earth’s Magnetic Poles Flip?" November 20, 2014

Past lectures have been:

  • "The Great Calculus War: Newton vs Leibniz" October 23, 2014
  • "The Big Bang Theory and Inflation" September 2014
  • "The MESSENGER Mission to Mercury,"  Thursday, March 13, 2014
  • "Gravity's Greatest Mystery," Thursday, February 13, 2014
  • "Comet ISON Nevski–Novichonok," Friday, November 8, 2013
  • "Paradoxes of Quantum Physics," Thursday, October 10, 2013
  • "Dark Matter in the Universe:  New Discoveries," Thursday, September 12, 2013
  • "Curiosity:  Searching for Life on Mars," Thursday, April 4, 2013
  • "The Mystery of the Higgs Boson," Thursday, March 14, 2013
  • "Our Fractal Universe," Friday, February 22, 2013
  • "Computers:  From Silicon to Artificial Intelligence," Thursday, January 24, 2013
  • "The Kepler Mission:  Discovering 2,000 Planets," Friday, November 30, 2012
  • "Cryptography:  The Secret Science of Codes," Wednesday, October 24, 2012
  • "LIGO:  Searching for Gravity Waves," Wednesday, September 19, 2012
  • “Global Warming and the Greenhouse Effect”, Thursday, March 22, 2012
  • “The End of the Earth and Sun," Friday, April 27, 2012
  • "Europa:  Jupiter's Ocean Moon”, Thursday, February 16, 2012
  • “Is Pluto a Planet?” Thursday, December 1, 2011
  • “Creating Black Holes in the Lab”, Thursday, October 20, 2011
  • “Before Stonehenge: Ancient Astronomy in Britain”, Wednesday, September 7, 2011
  • "Exploring the Galaxies," Thursday, April 22, 2010
  • "Mayan Astronomy, Calendars, and the 2012 Prophecy," Thursday, March 18, 2010
  • "Uranus and Neptune: Mysteries of the Ice Giants," Thursday, February 25, 2010
  • "Discovering the Stars," Thursday, January 14, 2010
  • "Infinity and Beyond: From Mathematics to the Big Bang and Black Holes," Wednesday, November 18, 2009
  • "Comets: Messengers from the Past," Friday, October 16, 2009
  • "Time Travel: Loopholes from Einstein's Relativity," Wednesday, September 16, 2009
  • "Anasazi Astronomy: The Skies of an Ancient Indian People," Thursday, April 24, 2009
  • "Lasers: On Earth and Beyond," Thursday, February 26, 2009
  • "The Climate Paradox: Venus, Earth, and Mars," Thursday, January 29, 2009
  • "The Search for Dark Matter," Thursday, December 4, 2008
  • "The Mystery of the Missing Sunspots," Thursday, November 6, 2008
  • "Measuring the Size and Shape of our Universe," Thursday, October 2, 2008
  • "The Big Bang: How did it all begin?" Thursday, April 24, 2008
  • "The Secrets of Saturn's Rings and Moons," Thursday, February 28, 2008
  • "Beyond the Space Shuttle: The Future of Human Space Exploration," Thursday, February 7, 2008
  • "Pluto: King of the Kuiper Belt," Thursday, November 29, 2007
  • "Gamma Ray Bursts: When Black Holes Are Born," Thursday, October 25, 2007
  • "Mars: The Mystery of the Methane" Thursday, September 13, 2007
  • "Cosmic Rays: Particles From Space" Wednesday, March 14, 2007
  • "Chaos in the Solar System" Thurday, February 1, 2007
  • "Studying Dead Stars" Thursday, November 30, 2006
  • "Mysteries of the Moon" Thursday, October 19, 2006
  • "Beyond the Hubble Space Telescope" Thursday, September 28, 2006
  • "Exploring the Moons of Jupiter" Saturday, April 22, 2006
  • "Quasars and Supermassive Black Holes" Thursday, March 16, 2006
  • "The Mystery of the Hot Jupiters" Thursday, February 23, 2006
  • "Discovering How Galaxies Evolve," Thursday, October 27, 2005
  • "Unifying the Four Forces of Nature," Thursday, September 29, 2005
  • "Did an Asteroid Kill the Dinosaurs?" Thursday, September 1, 2005
  • "Dark Energy and the Fate of Our Universe," Thursday, April 21, 2005
  • "Exploring the Atom with the Quantum Theory," Thursday, March 17, 2005
  • "The Mysteries of the Stars," Thursday, February 24, 2005
  • "Mars and Venus: Exploring Alien Worlds," Tuesday, December 7, 2004
  • "The Mystery of the Sun's Spots," Tuesday, November 2, 2004
  • "Relativity: Testing Einstein's Speed Limit," Tuesday, October 12, 2004
  • "Supernova: When Giant Stars Explode," Tuesday, September 14, 2004
  • "Black Holes: Monsters of the Universe," Saturday, April 17, 2004
  • "The Mystery of Saturn's Rings," Tuesday, March 23, 2004
  • "Are We Alone? Astrobiology and the Science of Extraterrestrial Life," Tuesday, February 24, 2004
  • "Dark Matter: The Mystery of the Phantom Mass," Thursday, January 29, 2004
  • "The Big Bang: Science at the Beginning of Time," Thursday, November 13, 2003

Montana Skies

I do a weekly special report on the KTVH NBC "Beartooth News at 10" entitled Montana Skies where I point out what's up in our night sky, explaining a little bit about the science of astronomy.

Classroom Visits

I also love visiting schools and talking to kids of all ages about astronomy, physics, or mathematics. I have a variety of presentations I can give, and several sets of hands-on toys that I can bring. I am quite comfortable talking about everything from the cause of the seasons and the phases of the Moon to black holes, the big bang, and the possibilities of alien life. So if you are a teacher in the Helena area and you might be interested in inviting me into your classroom, please don't hesitate to give me a call.