WMU News

Visiting scholar to discuss star life and particle physics

September 15, 1998

KALAMAZOO -- The unifying concept that helped the scientific world understand the terminal stages of stars will be the topic of a free public lecture by a guest physicist at Western Michigan University Tuesday, Sept. 22, as part of its Visiting Scholars and Artists Program.

Dr. Kameshwar C. Wali, the Steele Professor Emeritus of Physics at Syracuse University, will tell "The Story of White Dwarfs and the Legacy of S. Chandrasekhar" in a public address set for 7:30 p.m. in Room 1110 of Rood Hall.

Wali will discuss the concept of a limiting mass that is common to the three distinct terminal stages of stars -- white dwarfs, neutron stars and black holes. He also will share an episode from the life of the astrophysicist S. Chandrasekhar, who discovered the concept that is regarded as one of the fundamental discoveries of the century. Wali has written a widely acclaimed biography of Chandrasekhar.

Also during his visit to the campus, Wali will discuss the current state of particle physics in a colloquium set for Monday, Sept. 21, at 4 p.m. in Room 1110 of Rood Hall. "From the Indestructible Atom to the Invisible Quark" is the title of that talk.

Wali, who has been at Syracuse University since 1969, has made important contributions in areas related to particle physics, most notably to the understanding of the symmetries and dynamics of elementary particle interactions. Prior to joining the Syracuse faculty, he held research positions at Johns Hopkins University and the Argonne National Laboratory.

He did his undergraduate and master's work in mathematics and physics in India and earned a doctoral degree from the University of Wisconsin, specializing in theoretical high energy physics. A Fellow of the American Physical Society, Wali counts among his honors a senior Fulbright Fellowship to Australia and a Dozor Fellowship to Israel.

For more information about Wali's visit, persons should contact Dr. Robert Shamu, chairperson of the Department of Physics, at (616) 387-4940.

The Visiting Scholars and Artists Program was established in 1960 and has supported some 500 visits by scholars and artists representing more than 65 academic disciplines. The chairperson of the committee that oversees the program is Dr. James M. Hillenbrand, professor of speech pathology and audiology.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 616 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
616 387-8400