Dr. Don Winget, Harlan J. Smith Centennial professor in astronomy at The University of Texas at Austin's Department of Astronomy, presents the Twenty-Second Annual Great Lecture in Astronomy, "Small Stars in a Large Context." In the lecture, Dr. Winget examines the potential offered by the white dwarf stars in the context of both astrophysics and fundamental physics. This potential includes studying cosmochronology - establishing the age and evolutionary history of our galaxy and an independent lower limit on the age of the Universe, constraining the properties of axions and WIMPS in the context of dark matter models, constraining dark energy by establishing the properties of the massive progenitors of type 1a supernovae, studying nucleosynthesis from their internal composition structure, and crystallization in dense Coulomb plasmas, among many others.
Dr. Winget has won many teaching awards and is a member of The University of Texas at Austin Academy of Distinguished Teachers. He studies white dwarf stars, including research into the physics of matter at high temperatures and densities, as well as the structure of galaxies and the evolution of star populations in galaxies. He also looks for planets orbiting white dwarf stars, which would be the remnants of solar systems like our own after our sun has died.
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