Now Streaming: Public Lecture

Crazy Telescopes, Ghostly Galaxies, and the Invisible Universe

Roberto Abraham, University of Toronto

Bigger telescopes are usually better telescopes… but not always. Sometimes crazier telescopes are better telescopes. In this talk I will describe the nearly unexplored universe of ghostly, nearly undetectable phenomena in the heavens. I will focus on why finding these ghostly objects is important, and why it has also been so devilishly difficult to find them using “normal” telescopes. We have probably been missing out seeing a vast range of exotic objects, like low-surface brightness dwarf galaxies, supernova light echoes, galactic halos, and planetary dust rings. These objects are nearly undetectable with conventional telescopes, but their properties may hold the keys to understanding a host of fundamental phenomena, including the nature of dark matter and the mechanisms by which galaxies form and evolve.

“If there is a heaven for scientists, it probably is modeled on the Aspen Center for Physics.”

On the Blog

Oppenheimer and Los Alamos: Beyond the Movie

Gordon Baym, University of Illinois

Oppenheimer which focusses on the remarkable character of J. Robert Oppenheimer, and especially on the confrontations at the 1954 Atomic Energy Commission hearings on his future security clearance. Only hinted at in the movie is the amazing effort to develop atomic bombs, primarily at Los Alamos – the secret town in northern New Mexico – but also at other secret laboratories including Oak Ridge in Tennessee, and Hanford in Washington State, all part of what was euphemistically called the Manhattan Project. What I would like to do in this [article] is to give you a flavor of the history of the full development of what the historian Richard Rhodes, author of the monumental book, The Making of the Atomic Bomb, called, “arguably the single most important historic development of the 20th century.”

Programs For Physicists

Winter Conferences

Dec 10 - Apr 5

Each winter, ACP hosts between six and eight week-long conferences that focus on the latest developments in physics and adjacent fields. These conferences have a typical attendance of about 80-100. Join us for a week of physics in the snowy mountains of Aspen, Colorado! Conferences include morning and evening meetings with a “ski break” in the middle of the day.

Summer Workshops

May 26 - Sept 15

We offer summer workshops ranging from two to four weeks long in biophysics, astrophysics and cosmology, high energy physics and particle physics, and condensed matter physics. Each year, around 600 scientists from around the world visit the Center to explore unanswered questions about the Universe during our summer program. We encourage physicists to come to the summer workshops with their families.

Individual Research

May 26 - Sept 15

Discover & connect on your own terms. The Center’s summer program includes ample unstructured time, for cross-pollination, informal discussions, and cross-pollination. We invite you to concentrate on individual research and the informal exchange of ideas! Applicants in this category are given as much consideration as those applying for a workshop.

Off-Season Facility Use

Rent the center

If you need a meeting space for your scientific, non-profit group, consider the Aspen Center for Physics. It is available when its summer and winter programs are not in session: mid-September through December, occasional winter weeks, and April through the first three weeks of May.

Support the Future of Physics

The Aspen Center for Physics is a non-profit Colorado corporation operated for scientists by scientists with a small administrative staff. Officers, trustees, and general members select programs and participants, guide funding, select staff and oversee all aspects of the Center’s activities. To maintain corporate memory, honorary members and trustees continue to advise the board and serve the Center after their elected terms are over. The Center is governed by a volunteer board of a maximum of 80 general members and nine trustees who are guided by its by-laws.