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What's holding you down? Public talk and demonstrations on gravity


We all experience gravity as the benign force that keeps our feet on the ground. While it’s one of the most familiar forces studied by scientists, it’s also the least understood.

On Wednesday, the Master Teacher Program at Buffalo State will present a two-part event featuring a lecture, Gravity: From Newton to Einstein and Beyond. This event is free and open to the public.

The event begins at 8:30 a.m. in the Science and Mathematics Complex. At 9:00 a.m., some of New York’s best physics teachers will perform engaging physics demonstrations.

At 10:30 a.m., Michael Stamatikos (at left), assistant professor of physics at Ohio State University (OSU) at Newark, will discuss our understanding of gravity from antiquity with philosophical arguments of Aristotle, through the birth of modern science, as heralded by the novel experiments of Galileo. Later, the theoretical synthesis of Isaac Newton extended gravity’s jurisdiction to include the celestial motion of earth’s moon and planets within our solar system. Albert Einstein proposed an alternative theory of gravity that predicted the recent discovery of gravitational waves and the existence of black holes. How can gravity’s effect on galactic and intergalactic scales observationally lead to the modern enigmas of dark matter and dark energy?

Stamatikos, who is associated with the Department of Astronomy and Center for Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics at OSU, will make connections to his own NASA-based astrophysical research on gamma-ray bursts and speculate on their discovery potential in the new era of multi-messenger astronomy. He will take questions following his presentation.