Research Tracks

A publication of the Office of the Vice Provost for Research at Baylor University

Upcoming event: OVPR welcomes Nobel laureate for inaugural lecture in BRIC Foundations series


The Office of the Vice Provost for Research is pleased to welcome Nobel laureate and senior NASA astrophysicist Dr. John C. Mather for the inaugural lecture in the new BRIC Foundations International Speaker Series.

Mather and co-researcher Dr. George Smoot shared the 2006 Nobel Prize in physics for their work with the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) satellite. The COBE satellite provided the first space-based measurements of the cosmic microwave background radiation remaining from the Big Bang and yielded valuable insight into the early stages of the universe’s development (click here to read more about Mather and Smoot’s Nobel-winning research).

Mather will present two lectures as part of the BRIC Foundations series. Both are free and open to the public.

Public Lecture

Abstract and details for Dr. Mather’s public lecture.

Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013, 2:00-3:00 p.m.
Baylor Sciences Building, room D-109
Reception to follow in the BSB E2 elevator landing

The History of the Universe from Beginning to End

Brief abstract:
Mather will discuss how the universe began with a Big Bang and how it could have produced an Earth that can sustain human existence.  He will explain Einstein’s biggest mistake, how Edwin Hubble discovered the expansion of the universe, how the COBE mission was built and how COBE data support the Big Bang theory. He will also show NASA’s plans for the James Webb Space Telescope, the next great space telescope, capable of peering inside the dusty cocoons where stars and planets are being born today.

Click here for the full abstract.

Technical Lecture

Abstract and details for Dr. Mather’s technical lecture

Friday, Nov. 8, 2013, 2:30-3:30 p.m
Baylor Research and Innovation Collaborative (BRIC), room 3160
Reception to follow in the hallway adjacent to room 3160

James Webb Space Telescope: Science Opportunities and Mission Progress

Brief abstract:
The James Webb Space Telescope is the planned successor for the Hubble Space Telescope and the Spitzer Space Telescope. Mather will describe the scientific programs that future users are likely to propose, with topics ranging from the first objects to form after the Big Bang to the assembly of galaxies, the formation of stars and the potential detection of planetary systems capable of supporting life. He will also outline the remaining work for the project, including end-to-end testing of the telescope and instrument package at the Johnson Space Center’s vacuum chamber and development and testing the telescope’s deployable sunshield.

Click here for the full abstract.

Shuttle service will be provided to the BRIC for the technical lecture.  Buses will depart from the BSB at 1:45, 2:00, and 2:15 p.m.  If you plan to use the shuttle, please RSVP to Sherri Honza at 710-3763 or

About BRIC Foundations

BRIC Foundations: Perspectives from Leaders in Innovation is an international speaker series featuring top experts in the fields of science, engineering, business, industry and workforce development. The series is intended to leverage the connections and resources of the BRIC to provide learning opportunities to Baylor faculty and students as well as the Central Texas community.

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