Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI), and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory have awarded the 2008 Karl G. Jansky Lectureship to Dr. Arthur M. Wolfe of the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). The Jansky Lectureship is an honor established by the trustees of AUI to recognize outstanding contributions to the advancement of radio astronomy. The dates and locations for Dr. Wolfe's 2008 Jansky Lectures, titled "Finding the Gas that Makes Galaxies", are as follows:
Dr. Wolfe has made major contributions in several areas of astronomy. Along with Rainer Sachs, he predicted the Sachs-Wolfe Effect, a phenomenon which forms the basis for modern precision cosmology using the background radio emission left over from the Big Bang. In the 1970s, he discovered that light emitted by very distant galaxies is absorbed by hydrogen atoms in previously-undetected intervening gas clouds. From the 1980s until the present, he used optical light emitted by distant quasars to show that these clouds are the progenitors of stars found in modern galaxies. This phenomenon has since been used extensively to study the production of heavy elements and history of star formation in the Universe. He also did landmark research on whether the fundamental constants of nature, such as the charge of the electron and the masses of elementary particles, do, in fact, remain constant through cosmological time.
Dr. Wolfe was the Director of the Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences at UCSD from 1997 to 2007. He joined UCSD as a Professor of Physics and Astronomy in 1989, leaving the University of Pittsburgh, where he had taught since 1973. He holds the Chancellor's Associates Chair of Physics at UCSD. Dr. Wolfe received his Ph.D from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and received the Sackler Fellowship of the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Cambridge, UK, in 2004.
We are pleased to have a scientist of Dr. Wolfe's stature to carry on the tradition of excellence established by the Jansky family, and look forward with anticipation to his presentation this fall.
Fred K.Y. Lo