21st Annual Great Lecture in Astronomy

The First Stars and Galaxies

Dr. Volker Bromm

Associate Professor, Department of Astronomy
The University of Texas at Austin


February 9, 2013 · 1-2 PM
ACES Building [map] · Avaya Auditorium · Room 2.302
The University of Texas at Austin


How and when did the cosmic dark ages end? Dr. Volker Bromm will present the remarkable story of how the first stars and galaxies formed, a few hundred million years after the Big Bang. The first sources of light fundamentally transformed the early universe from an initially very simple state to one of ever increasing complexity. Until now, our knowledge of this period of cosmic dawn relies on large-scale supercomputer simulations, utilizing the machines at the Texas Advanced Computing Center. But over the next decade, a number of new-generation observational facilities, such as the James Webb Space Telescope and the Giant Magellan Telescope, will test our understanding. With a bit of luck, we will finally be able to open up a direct window into the very beginning of cosmic star and galaxy formation.

The Speaker

Dr. Volker Bromm was an undergraduate at the University of Heidelberg in Germany. There, he focused on physics and philosophy. He then moved to Yale University for his graduate education, where he earned his Ph.D. with a thesis on Star Formation in the Early Universe. This thesis was recognized by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific with its Trumpler Award as being of unusual importance to astronomy. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Cambridge University, England; at Harvard University; and an Institute Fellow at the Space Telesocpe Science Institute in Baltimore. In 2004, Volker joined The University of Texas at Austin, where he is now an Associate Professor in the Department of Astronomy. His teaching has been recognized with numerous awards, most recently the UT System Regents Outstanding Teaching Award.

dr. volker bromm

Dr. Volker Bromm