Date: Tuesday, March 12, 2024
Time: 06:30 pm
Sponsored / Hosted by
School of Physical Sciences. UCI Department of Physics & Astronomy

2024 Reines Lecture: From the Possibility to the Certainty of a Supermassive Black Hole

Tuesday, March 12, 2024 | 06:30 pm
Dr. Andrea Ghez
Event Details

The Reines Lecture Series honors Frederick Reines, UCI's Founding Dean of Physical Sciences and co-recipient of the 1995 Nobel Prize for discovering the neutrino. The annual event brings world-renowned physicists and astronomers to UC Irvine to give a public lecture and a department colloquium.


The 2024 Reines Lecture will be presented by Dr. Andrea Ghez, recipient of the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of a supermassive compact object in the Milky Way's Galactic Center.


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About the Speaker

Andrea M. Ghez, professor of Physics & Astronomy at UCLA and the Lauren B. Leichtman & Arthur E. Levine chair in Astrophysics, is one of the world’s leading experts in observational astrophysics and is director of UCLA’s Galactic Center Group. In 2020, she became the fourth woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for her independent discovery of a supermassive compact object, now generally recognized to be a black hole in the Milky Way’s galactic center. Her work on the orbits of stars at the center of the Milky Way has opened a new approach to studying black holes, and her group is currently focused on using this approach to understand the physics of gravity near a black hole and the role that black holes play in the formation and evolution of galaxies.


Advances in high-resolution imaging technology enabled Professor Ghez’s work and her group continues to work on pushing the frontiers of these technologies forward. She serves on several leadership committees for the W.M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii, which hosts the largest telescopes in the world, and the future Thirty Meter Telescope. Professor Ghez is also very committed to the communication of science to the general public and inspiring young girls to enter the field of science. She earned her B.S. from MIT in 1987 and her Ph.D. from Caltech in 1992 and has been on the faculty at UCLA since 1994. She has won numerous awards, including the Crafoord Prize in Astronomy from the Royal Swedish Academy of Science, where she is the first woman to win this prize in any field.