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The Cosmos in a Heartbeat - Kavli Fulldome Lecture Series

MSUM Planetarium
Bridges 167 - Planetarium
Friday, Nov 9, 2018 at 7:30 PM (CT)

About the Lecture

A human lifetime is more than a hundred billion times shorter than the current age of the Universe. Whether you are a professional astronomer, or a casual backyard stargazer, you have only a few decades to drink it all in—to wonder how it works and how you got here.

The cosmos is full of strange happenings that we sometimes are lucky enough to witness because we happened to be paying attention to the stories the Universe is telling us. These tales are carried on bursts of light, showers of sub-atomic particles, and the faint whisperings of gravity, and every day that passes, we’re getting better at deciphering them.

In our lifetimes, we will only ever have a glimpse of the cosmos. But that glimpse is enough to transform our perceptions in dramatic ways and to answer the oldest questions we have about what the Universe is doing all around us.

About Dr. Larson

Shane Larson is a research associate professor of physics at Northwestern University, where he is the Associate Director of CIERA (Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics). He works in the field of gravitational wave astrophysics, specializing in studies of compact stars, binaries, and the galaxy. He works in gravitational wave astronomy with both the ground-based LIGO project, and the future space-based detector LISA.

Shane grew up in eastern Oregon, and was an undergraduate at Oregon State University where he received his B.S. in Physics in 1991. He received a Ph.D. in theoretical physics (1999) from Montana State University. He is an award winning teacher, and a Fellow of the American Physical Society.

He currently lives in the Chicago area with his wife, daughter and cats. He contributes regularly to a public science blog at, and tweets with the handle @sciencejedi.

What is the Kavli Foundation?

The Kavli Foundation is dedicated to the advancement of science for the benefit of humanity. The Foundation supports scientific research, honors scientific achievement, and promotes public understanding of scientists and their work.

The Foundation's mission is implemented through an international program of research institutes, professorships, symposia and other initiatives in the fields of astrophysics, nanoscience, neuroscience and theoretical physics. The Foundation is also a founding partner of the Kavli Prizes, which recognize scientists for their seminal advances in astrophysics, nanoscience and neuroscience.

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