ASKC General Meetings are held at the UMKC Volker Campus in Royall Hall, Room 111, on the fourth Saturday of each month — except September and December, when we hold our members-only picnic and holiday party.
The night begins with Astro 101, a small-classroom educational series on foundational astronomy topics, followed by a meet and greet with light refreshments served. The meeting includes club announcements followed by our featured speaker(s). All are free and open to ASKC members and the public. Check the Event Calendar for details.
- 6:00 pm Astro 101
- 6:30 pm Meet and Greet
- 7:00 pm General Meeting
This Month's General Meeting Details
- October 27, 2018
- Royall Hall, Room 111
This Month's Speaker
Dr. Adam Helfer
A theoretical physicist working mainly on general relativity and quantum field theory, with an emphasis on foundational issues, Helfer’s work on gravitational waves includes a proposal for their detection by measurements of pulsar timing, ideas aimed at understanding how the waves exchange energy with matter, and a suggested mechanism for the interconversion of even and odd parity waves.
Dr. Helfer received his bachelor’s in Mathematics and Physics in 1979 from Washington University, St. Louis, Mo., and his doctorate in Mathematics from Oxford in 1986.
He has also written about black holes and the Hawking effect. Most recently, he has pointed out that one of the proposed explanations for dark matter (“fuzzy dark matter”) is incompatible with conventional quantum measurement theory—and exploring this might be a good way to tackle some of the open questions in quantum measurement.
He will explain why Einstein was forced to introduce gravitational waves, and about the historical debate over whether they were of physical significance or not. He will explain what they are, some of the ways they’re generated, and why they give us very diff erent sorts of information about the Universe than electromagnetic waves. He will also give a sketch of how detectors like LIGO work, and an indication of some of the things learned in fi rst couple of years of observations.