Astrophysics on tap for Willamette’s new pub talk series ‘Distilled’

by Adam Torgerson,

Willamette University’s new pub talk series, “Distilled,” will kick off Wednesday, Nov. 1, at 7:30 p.m., with a talk from astrophysicist Rachel Dewey Thorsett, who will present “Distilled: Seeing the Dark with Gravitational Waves.”

The talk follows the Oct. 3 announcement of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics, which was awarded to three researchers behind the detection of gravitational waves using LIGO, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory.

“How do you ‘see’ the dark?” asks Dewey-Thorsett. “We’ll talk about how recent Nobel Prize-winning research — based on Einstein’s century-old theory of relativity — opens a new window to the cosmos.”

Before becoming an affiliated scholar in Willamette’s physics department, Dewey-Thorsett earned a bachelor’s degree from Harvard and a doctorate from Princeton, where she studied stellar evolution using radio astronomy and pulsars.

Held on the first Wednesday of the month at The Half Penny, Distilled pub talks feature scholars in an informal environment. The free presentations are geared for the public, and no background knowledge is needed. A question and answer session will follow the talk.

Just south of Madrona at 3743 Commercial St. S., The Half Penny is open to all ages until 9 p.m.

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