"Cosmic Inflation" to be Focus of Rustgi Lecture

Release Date: September 12, 2005

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Alan H. Guth, Ph.D., a physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the "father" of the inflationary theory of the universe, will give the 12th annual Moti Lal Rustgi Memorial Lecture at 4 p.m. Sept. 23 in Room 215 in the Natural Sciences Complex on the University at Buffalo North (Amherst) Campus.

The Rustgi lecture, presented by the Department of Physics in the UB College of Arts and Sciences, will be free and open to the public. The annual lecture is held to honor the late Moti Lal Rustgi, professor of physics at UB from 1966-92.

Guth, Victor F. Weisskopf Professor of Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, conducts research applying theoretical particle physics to the early universe.

His theory of inflationary cosmology, a modification of the hot big-bang theory, offers possible explanations for a number of features of the universe, including its uniformity, the value of its mass density, and the properties of the faint ripples that are now being observed in the cosmic background radiation. It even offers a possible explanation for the origin of essentially all the matter in the universe.

The recently discovered acceleration of the cosmic expansion has altered radically the picture of the universe, but also has helped to confirm the basic predictions of inflation.

In related work, Guth and colleagues at MIT have explored the theoretical possibility of igniting inflation in a hypothetical laboratory, resulting in construction of a new universe.

Guth, who earned his doctorate at MIT, has held postdoctoral positions at Princeton, Columbia and Cornell universities and at the Stanford University Linear Accelerator Center.

He has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

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