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February Speaker

Dr. Alexei Filippenko


Alex Filippenko, to speak at the February SJAA Meeting. Einstein's Biggest Blunder? The Case for Cosmic “Antigravity” Houge Park Meeting Hall Saturday, February 7, 2004 8:00 p.m.



Alex Filippenko, Professor of Astronomy, UC Berkeley will be speaking at the February SJAA meeting.

In 1998, observations of very distant exploding stars (supernovae) provided intriguing evidence that the expansion of the Universe is speeding up with time, rather than slowing down due to gravity as expected. New, completely independent data greatly support this conclusion, which resurrects the idea of a long-range "antigravity" effect first proposed by Albert Einstein and later renounced as his "biggest blunder." The vacuum appears to be filled with repulsive "dark energy," perhaps consisting of quantum fluctuations out of nothing! Unless the effect changes sign in the future, the fate of the Universe is to expand forever, at progressively faster rates. The discovery of the accelerating universe, in which Alex Filippenko played a leading role, was voted the top "Science Breakthrough of 1998" by Science magazine, and it made the cover story in the 25 June 2001 issue of TIME magazine.


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