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Speaker Explores Stellar Evolution, Cataclysmic Eruptions

4/1/2008 —

Timothy Lawlor, assistant professor of physics and astrophysics, will take people to outer space when Penn State York's Science and Technology Seminar Series continues at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 1, in the Community Room of the Joe and Rosie Ruhl Student Community Center, with "Stellar Evolution, Cataclysmic Eruptions, and the Mysterious V838 Monocerotis." The program is free to the public.

Lawlor, a faculty member in the physics department at Penn State Brandywine will explain how the stars change and why. According to Lawlor, the sun is brighter now that it was at its birth 5 billion years ago. In his talk, Lawlor will review the life of a star like the sun, what people can learn from starlight and the strange extreme outburst object V838 Monocerotis. This star grew in size by at least 10 times in weeks.

Lawlor holds a doctorate from the University of Delaware, a master's degree from Wichita State University and a bachelor of science from Penn State and East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania.

The 10-week series began on Feb. 5 and continues though April 15. Penn State York started the lecture series six years ago to offer college students, area high school students and the general public an opportunity to hear nationally recognized speakers on a variety of topics. "This is a great opportunity to discover new and interesting science topics and also learn more about scientific research and the careers of people we call scientists," said Matt Hoch, series creator and assistant professor of biology at Penn State York. The series is sponsored by the Penn State York Student Activity Fee, an anonymous donor, and the science, math and engineering faculty at the campus.

The remaining seminar schedule includes "Stem Cells and Neurological Diseases: Now and in the Future," featuring Douglas Kerr, associate professor of neurology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, April 8; and "Biotechnology and the Changing Practice of Medicine," featuring James Greene, professor of biology, The Catholic University of America, April 15. The program on stem cells is at 7 p.m. April 8 in the Pullo Family Performing Arts Center at Penn State York.

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