Richard Pogge (Professor of Astronomy and Vice Chair for Instrumentation) will present a public lecture as part of the Ohio State Astronomy & Astrophysics Public Lecture Series
The Big Bang made only hydrogen and helium plus tiny traces of lithium and deuterium. This is why hydrogen and helium are the primary chemical elements that make up the universe today. However, here on Earth Oxygen is far and away the most abundant chemical element. Oxygen makes up about 46% of Earth’s crust, 22% of the air we breathe, and 65% of mass of the human body. Where was all of the Oxygen made? How is it distributed throughout the Galaxy and eventually find its way into planets and people? This talk will explore the origin of the elements heavier than helium in the universe, and describe how astronomers measure and map the distribution of Oxygen in interstellar space.
Richard Pogge is a Professor of Astronomy and Vice Chair for Instrumentation at The Ohio State University. Prof. Pogge received a BS in physics from Caltech and a PhD in Astronomy & Astrophysics from UC Santa Cruz. After being the W.J. McDonald Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Texas, he came to Ohio State in 1989 as a postdoctoral researcher. He then joined the faculty in 1992.
Prof. Pogge research has ranged from mapping the impact of active supermassive black holes on their host galaxies to searches for exoplanets. Throughout his career he has worked on the design and construction of advanced astronomical instruments, including the development of software for image processing, spectral analysis, and instrument control and data acquisition. Most recently, Prof. Pogge led the building and commissioning of Ohio State’s twin Multi-Object Double Spectrographs for the Large Binocular Telescope. His current work uses the LBT to push the limits of precision spectrophotometry to measure element abundances in star formation regions and trace the chemical evolution history of galaxies, in particular the abundances of Oxygen and related elements.
This talk is part of the OSAA Public Lecture Series. It is free and open to all, including kids.