Forging the Elements and Probing the Universe with Stars

Coordinators: Lars Bildsten

Las Cumbres Observatory Training Session

* The Sunday class is now full.
* The Best Western South Coast Inn is sold out Friday, March 16th.
* There are rooms still available for Saturday night March 17th and Sunday night March 18th.

We have understood for 70 years that stars live for a long time on the energy released by nuclear fusion, and that elements heavier than helium are made in their deep interiors. In the last ten years, we have learned that stars can live and die in new ways and make extremely heavy elements. Stars have also proved their lasting value as probes of the early universe, revealing star formation at very early times in the universe via their dramatic collapse and appearance as gamma-ray bursts, and exposing cosmic acceleration for the first time.

Geared toward secondary school physics teachers. KITP is eager to include teachers from population groups under represented in physics.

Some financial support will be available.

Lars Bildsten, KITP, UCSB, coordinator of conference


  • LARS BILDSTEN is Permanent Member at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics and Professor of Physics at University of California, Santa Barbara. He gives frequent public lectures on topics ranging from stars to the physics of California. His research interests include stellar explosions, oscillations on stars, and the emission of gravitational waves from neutron stars in our galaxy.
  • ROBERT P. KIRSHNER is Harvard College Professor of Astronomy, Clowes Professor of Science, and Master of Quincy House at Harvard University. He is the instructor for a large course in Harvard’s Core Curriculum for non-scientists dubbed “Matter in the Universe.” A member of the National Academy of Sciences, he is a frequent public speaker on scientific topics, and the author of “The Extravagant Universe: exploding stars, dark energy, and the accelerating universe”.
  • HENDRIK SCHATZ is Professor of Physics at Michigan State University and the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory and is co-founder of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics. His research focuses on nuclear processes in extreme astrophysical environments and includes experiments with rare isotope beams and theoretical modeling.
  • EDWARD VAN DEN HEUVEL is Professor of Astronomy at the University of Amsterdam, where he was Director of the Astronomical Institute until 2005. He served on national and international committees and advisory boards and chaired the Netherlands Space Research Organisation and the Netherlands Foundation for Research in Astronomy. His research interests are stellar evolution and high-energy astrophysics, particularly focused on the formation and evolution of neutron stars and black holes.