Scientists meet to discuss universe

December 11, 2013 by  

This year’s Texas Symposium on Relativistic Astrophysics conference started last weekend, with more than 450 scientists coming together to discuss the latest discoveries and newest mysteries of physics.

This year, the Higgs boson, which was discovered recently and is the subject of the 2013 Nobel Prize in physics will be a lively topic for discussion. Questions still unanswered will be explored, such the origin of the universe, why its expansion is accelerating, and the consistency of the unseen 95%.

It might surprise some here in Dallas to know that as far as the physicists of the world are concerned, Texas brings to mind relativistic astrophysics. Each year for the past 50 years, the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) has hosted the prestigious scientific conference, and is the sort of item stationery printers encourage universities to include on all their letterhead.

The idea for the original symposium came about in the summer of 1963. Faculty from the University of Texas and what was then the Graduate Research Center of the Southwest (later to become UTD) planned to bring together scientists to discuss Einstein’s relativity theory and its impact on unexplained phenomena in the universe.

That first symposium almost did not take place due to President Kennedy’s assassination. The President’s visit to Dallas had been co-sponsored by the Graduate Research Center (GRC). The 1963 symposium took place in December, despite the assassination, and has been going strong ever since. It comes to an end this Friday, December 13.