Renown International Astronomer to give 2005 Grubb Parsons Lecture
(14 November 2005)
Durham University’s annual Grubb Parsons Lecture will this year be given by Professor Reinhard Genzel, Director of the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching and a Professor of Physics at the University of California at Berkeley.
His lecture, entitled, ‘Massive Black Holes,’ will take place on Wednesday, 30th November at 4.30pm in the Scarbrough Lecture Theatre, the Science Site, South Road, Durham. Prof. Genzel is renowed for his observational studies of galaxies and black holes using a wide range of observational techniques across the whole electromagnetic spectrum. He is also at the forefront of instrumental development for very large telescopes, constructing a series of novel and powerful instruments to support his observational studies. The lecure will begin by describing the evidence that has been accumulating for several decades that quasars, the most luminous objects in the Universe, are powered by the accretion of matter onto massive black holes. Prof. Genzel will then discuss his recent observations, employing adaptive optics imaging on large ground-based telescopes, that prove beyond doubt that such a massive black hole exists at the centre of our own galaxy, the Milky Way. This will include a new “movie” he has made showing the motions of stars around the massive black hole at the centre of our own galaxy. He will also briefly discuss the cosmological evolution of massive black holes. The Grubb Parsons Lecture is given annually by a distinguished astronomer from outside of the University. It is named in honour of the contributions made by the Newcastle optical and engineering company, Grubb Parsons Ltd, who had an important influence on the post-war renaissance in British optical astronomy. They are also responsible for the 4.2 metre William Herschel telescope commissioned on La Palma, Canary Islands in 1987. Sponsorship of the Lecture Series is kindly provided by Sun Microsystems. For further details please visit the Durham University Physics Department home page at: http://www.dur.ac.uk/physics/newsandevents