Physics lecture to be held April 26 at Penn State Hazleton

HAZLETON, Pa. — Assistant Professor of Physics Douglas Edmonds will give a lecture about the ever-deepening mysteries of dark matter and dark energy at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 26, in Room 115 of the Evelyn Graham Academic Building at Penn State Hazleton. The annual Mylar Giri Lecture in the Natural Sciences is free and open to the public.

Sponsored by the Faculty Lecture Committee, the event honors the late campus physics professor Mylar Giri. The Mylar Giri Lecture series was established in 1988 to honor a beloved Penn State faculty member by hosting a lecture by a distinguished speaker in the natural sciences. Past lectures have been in the fields of physics, mathematics, meteorology, chemistry and astronomy.

Of all the matter in the universe, the type that makes up everything we are familiar with (planets, stars, people) comprises only about 15 percent. The other 85 percent is missing. The mystery expands when we consider mass and energy to be different sides of the same coin. Familiar matter comprises only 4 percent of the mass-energy content of the universe. Along with the missing matter, there appears to be an additional energy that is driving the expansion of our universe to higher and higher rates. The missing matter and extra energy make up 96 percent of the mass-energy content of our universe, and we don’t yet know what they are. They are referred to as dark matter and dark energy, respectively. In this talk, Edmonds will discuss “The Dark Side of the Universe.”

Edmonds earned his doctorate from Virginia Tech. After serving as a faculty member at a liberal arts college in Virginia, he joined the faculty of Penn State Hazleton in 2017. His research deals with topics in astrophysics and physical cosmology, including aspects of general relativity and quantum gravity, super-massive black holes, dark matter and dark energy. Student research with Edmonds includes investigating dark matter models by comparing them to astrophysical data, and spectral analysis of the environments surrounding super-massive black holes in order to understand their role in galactic evolution.