WICHITA — James Cronin, a winner of the 1980 Nobel Prize in physics, is giving two lectures this week at Wichita State University, both of them open to the public.
Cronin is a professor of physics at the University of Chicago and a lead scientist for the Pierre Auger Observatory, a project studying the nature and origin of rare but extremely powerful high-energy cosmic rays that periodically bombard Earth.
His work on that project has led him to Kansas more than once — he's been talking with Kansas legislators and scientists at WSU about installing cosmic ray detectors all over western Kansas, potentially bringing astrophysicists and millions of dollars of scientific investment and work to the state.
He will give his first lecture at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Jabara Hall, room 128. That lecture will be somewhat technical in nature, but the public is invited, WSU officials said.
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He will give a lecture geared more to the general public at 5 p.m. Thursday at Hubbard Hall, room 208.
The Auger (pronounced like "ah-jay") Project includes more than 250 scientists from 19 nations. Cronin and his scientific colleagues have already talked 16 countries into spending more than $50 million to build the Pierre Auger Cosmic Ray Observatory in Argentina, studying the sky from the southern hemisphere.
Now he'd like to spend considerably more money to establish a similar observatory in the northern hemisphere.
For more information, call professor Nickolas Solomey at WSU at 316-978-3190.