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On the Shoulders of Giants

Friday, May 31, 2019
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Acknowledging the scientists who blazed intellectual trails before him, Isaac Newton wrote: “If I have seen a little further it was by standing on the shoulders of giants.” In this special annual series, we invite our audience to stand on the shoulders of a modern-day giant. This year, we are honored to present a special two-part address from two giants bringing new light to black holes. In celebration of the astounding recent achievement of the Event Horizon Telescope, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics astronomer Shep Doeleman will detail how his team worked for over a decade to capture the first-ever image of a black hole’s event horizon. Harvard University Professor of Physics Andrew Strominger will then explore the deep theoretical puzzles that have driven black hole research and the insights achieved by recent breakthroughs.

This program is part of the Big Ideas Series, made possible with support from the John Templeton Foundation.


Shep DoelemanAstronomer

Shep Doeleman is an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, where he leads the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) whose goal has been to image the event horizon of a black hole: the boundary where gravity is so strong that even light cannot escape.

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Andrew StromingerPhysicist

Andrew Strominger is the Gwill E. York Professor of Physics at Harvard University and a founding member of the Black Hole Initiative. He is a renowned theoretical physicist who has made pathbreaking contributions to classical and quantum gravity quantum field theory and string theory.

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