Alex Filippenko Delivers Centennial Physics Lecture at Peking University

This month Peking University was pleased to welcome world-famous astrophysicist, Alex Filippenko, to visit the campus. During the visit, Alex Filippenko delivered a public lecture at the Sunny Hall of the Ying Jie Conference Center on May 8, 2015.

Alex Filippenko is Professor of Astronomy at the University of California, Berkeley. He received his B.A. in Physics from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and his Ph.D. in Astronomy from the California Institute of Technology. As an enthusiastic instructor, Filippenko has been highly welcomed by students after he took a faculty position at UC Berkeley. He won numerous awards for his contributions to teaching and to the popularization of science. He was voted the “Best Professor” at UC Berkeley a record nine times by students, and in 2006 he was named “U.S. Professor of the Year” by the Carnegie Foundation. In 2004 he was awarded the Carl Sagan Prize for Science Popularization. In 2009, Filippenko was elected member of the American National Academy of Sciences, one of the highest honors accorded to American scientists.

Filippenko’s areas of research include supernovae, active galaxies, black holes and the expansion of the Universe. He is the only individual to belong to both of the teams that discovered that the expansion of the Universe is actually accelerating with time – a discovery that won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2011 and obtained the 2015 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics. He is currently spearheading the survey for nearby supernovae with the 0.76-meter Katzman Automatic Imaging Telescope at Lick Observatory.

In his public lecture entitled “Dark Energy and the Runaway Universe” at Peking University, Filippenko showed his current research and discussed the implications of the conclusion that the Universe is expanding at an accelerating rate, driven by dark energy, a mysterious force that makes up 70% of the energy density of the Universe and is stretching space faster and faster with time. After the talk, Filippenko answered many questions from the audience about astronomy, including the nature of dark energy and dark matter, the origin of the Universe and life, and the destiny of the Universe.

Filippenko’s lecture is the thirteenth lecture of the Centennial Physics Lecture series at Peking University. More than two hundred teachers and students from Peking University and other local colleges joined in the lecture. Prof. Li Yansong, Vice-President of Peking University, issued Alex Filippenko a commemorative medal for the Centennial Physics Lecture. Prof. Xie Xincheng, Dean of the School of Physics, opened the lecture ceremony. Director of the Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics at Peking University, Prof. Luis C. Ho, one of Filippenko’s former Ph.D students, introduced the speaker and chaired the talk.



美国加利福尼亚大学伯克利分校天文系教授Alex Filippenko应邀做了题为“暗能量与失控的宇宙(Dark Energy and the Runaway Universe)”的学术报告。北京大学李岩松副校长在报告会前亲切会见了Filippenko教授,并为他颁发了“北京大学百年物理讲坛”的奖牌和纪念品。北京大学物理学院院长谢心澄教授、院长助理胡永云教授、徐仁新教授、科维理天文与天体物理研究所所长何子山教授、副所长吴学兵教授、天文系主任刘富坤教授参加了会见。报告会由何子山教授主持。


 Alex Filippenko教授是美国国家科学院院士,也是享誉全球的学术论文引用率最高的天文学研究人员之一。Filippenko教授1984年获加州理工大学天文学博士学位,1986年至今在加利福尼亚大学伯克利分校任教。Filippenko教授因其在科研领域的突出成就,所获荣誉奖项不计其数。他所在的两大研究组因其关于宇宙加速膨胀的重大发现而被授予2011年诺贝尔物理学奖和2015年基础物理突破奖。同时,Filippenko教授曾多次获加州大学伯克利分校教学奖,连续九次获选全校“最佳教授”,并于2006年获评美国“年度最佳教授”称号。此外,他曾因对天文科普工作的杰出贡献获得2004年卡尔·萨根科普奖。