In this talk, Eduardo do Couto e Silva will explain that while the night sky appears calm, it is in fact populated by colossal explosions and cosmic conflagrations. In 1967, a US satellite monitoring nuclear explosions suddenly recorded a huge burst of energy coming from space. No one had any idea of what this could be, nothing like this had ever been seen before. The extraordinary power of this event, since named a gamma-ray burst, signaled that there were vast explosions taking place out in the universe and the hunt was on to find an explanation. Equally amazing in their power and their influence are supernova explosions. The collapse of massive stars make for some of the most dramatic of all events in our universe and Dr. do Couto e Silva will explain that not only are they dramatic but they have been essential to the creation of life on earth.
Eduardo do Couto e Silva was born and educated in Brasilia, Brazil. He was granted a PhD from Indiana University by conducting research on the physics of B mesons in the European Laboratory for High Energy Physics (CERN) located at the border between France and Switzerland. After being awarded a CERN Fellowship he joined an experiment to search for neutrino oscillations. In 1999, he moved to Stanford University in 1999 to work on high energy astrophysics and he joined the Gamma Ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST) project. Since then he has been playing prominent roles in many areas of the development of GLAST. Throughout his career he designed, built and tested detectors for high energy physics and high energy astrophysics. He is an Experimental Physicist in the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics. His principal interests lie in high energy astrophysics, specially at gamma ray energies. He is often involved in outreach activities.
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