Famed Astrophysicist Lectures on Black Holes, Dark Matter at TAMIU Wednesday
Posted: 3/27/14

Famed Astrophysicist Gebhardt Lectures on Black Holes,
Dark Matter and Energy at TAMIU Lecture April 2

The mystery of Black Holes, Dark Matter, and Dark Energy through the Eyes of Texas will be explored by guest lecturer Dr. Karl Gebhardt at Texas A&M International University’s (TAMIU) Lamar Bruni Vergara Science Center room 102 next Wednesday, April 2 at 7:30 p.m.

Admission is free and open to the public. The lecture is made possible with funding support provided by Laredoan Guillermo Benavides Z., a board member of the McDonald Observatory, now celebrating its 75th Anniversary.

Dr. Karl Gebhardt

Dr. Karl Gebhardt

Dr. Gebhardt is the Herman and Joan Suit Professor of Astrophysics in the department of Astronomy at The University of Texas at Austin. He works on a variety of galaxy studies, ranging from black
holes to dark matter to dark energy.

Most of his career has focused on understanding the role that black holes play in the formation of a
galaxy. He has measured more black hole masses than anyone in the 
world, and is actively targeting many more galaxies for this 
study. He works 
with numerous undergraduate and graduate students, and involves them in all levels of his research.

His career has 
taken him through Michigan State University, Rutgers University (where 
he received his PhD in 1994), fellowships at the University of 
Michigan and University of California at Santa Cruz, and eventually to UT in 2000.

Gebhardt has won numerous awards, 
including Northeaster Graduate Schools Dissertation Award (1995), a
Hubble Fellowship from NASA (1997), Teaching Excellence Awards from 
the UT (2003), McDonald Observatory Board of 
Visitors (2004), and a National Science Foundation Career Award.

2012, he received the Edith and Peter O'Donnell Award in Science from 
the Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas.

His recent work has focused on understanding dark energy with the Hobby-Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment (HETDEX). In recent years, scientists have discovered that the Universe is expanding much faster than what had 
been expected. Gebhardt and his colleagues have outlined a unique approach to study dark energy using the Hobby-Eberly Telescope at McDonald Observatory.

“We are living through a remarkable era for astronomy where we are understanding the basic properties of the universe. These include dark energy, which determines how the universe expands, dark matter that is the dominant component of mass in the universe, and black holes, which are gravity's ultimate triumph. I will present the current state of knowledge for each of these, and discuss future advances primarily coming from the Hobby-Eberly Dark Energy Experiment (HETDEX),” Dr. Gebhart explained.

For more information about the event, contact TAMIU’s Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Systems at 956.326.2180, email prmis@tamiu.edu or visit offices in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, room 268.

For more information about Dr. Gebhardt, visit www.mcdonaldobservatory.org.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at prmis@tamiu.edu