University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy
Home > About > News > News >

General News

Colloquium on Scientific Exploration in Popular Culture

Professor Wasserburg

Prof. G. J. Wasserburg, Cal Tech, will speak on Wednesday, May 7 at 4:00 p.m. in Physics 131.

This illustrated talk entitled "Imagination, pulp fiction, science & exploration" is directed toward both scientists and the general public. Wasserburg's colloquium will be on the interactions between imagination, the limits of imagination, speculation and some understanding of nature. Examples ranging from Leonardo da Vinci, through Jules Verne, the comic books, the Apollo landings on the Moon, and the astronomical exploration of the Universe. It is meant to stimulate thought on what really constitutes exploration and how popularization both stimulates and confuses real exploration. It may lead nations astray in wild “star wars” enterprises that are not really exploration. The talk will be leavened by humor and a variety of illustrations from “pulp fiction”, and end in the mystery of quasars and dark matter. The latter will not be explained.