RASC Regular Meeting
Nov 10, 2014
The Search for Intelligent Life in a Hostile Universe

20141110_orion_nebulaRASC Regular Meeting
TELUS World of Science
FREE and open to the public.

7:00 PM Pre-meeting mix and mingle.
7:30 PM Guest Speaker

Dr. Erik Rosolowsky
Physics Department, University of Alberta
The Search for Intelligent Life in a Hostile Universe

Evidence of extraterrestrial civilizations would be one of the largest discoveries astronomy could make. In this talk, Erik Rosolowsky  presented some of the considerations that go into the ongoing search for other intelligent life. The subject provides a frame narrative for introducing some of the major advancements in modern astrophysics, including a modern view of star and planet formation, element enrichment from stellar evolution, and the future of radio astronomy. Erik discussed how these topics shape our guesses as to whether there is other intelligent life in the universe and how we should best search for it.

Dr. Erik Rosolowsky’s research program focuses on understanding the connections between stellar generations in galaxies. He seeks a broad understanding how matter gets recycled in the universe, from when stars die and that material mixed into the interstellar medium to where the matter forms into another generation of stars. He regards that as the biggest missing link in understanding the evolution of the universe and the life within it. His research uses observational data, mostly from radio and submillimetre telescopes coupled with novel algorithmic approaches to reach new discoveries.