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Professor Emeritus to Prestigious Institute

March 1, 2007

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MACOMB, IL - - Western Illinois University physics Professor Emeritus Yan Lwin has been invited to participate in the "Forging the Elements and Probing the Universe with Stars" teachers' conference which will be held March 16-18 at the University of California, Santa Barbara Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics. He also received financial support for travel to the conference.

The conference will address the findings over the past 10 years that stars can live and die in new ways and make extremely heavy elements. Stars have also proven their lasting value as probes of the early universe, revealing star formation at very early times in the universe via their dramatic collapse and appearance as gamma-ray bursts, and exposing cosmic acceleration for the first time, Lwin said.

Participants will also spent a day of training at Las Cumbres Observatory, using the Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope (LCOGT) Network to assist in research-based learning activities in the classroom.

The Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, which has been in operation since 1979, is funded by the National Science Foundation and the University of California. Its general purpose is to contribute to the progress of theoretical physics, especially in areas overlapping the traditional subfields, in ways which are not easily realized in existing institutions, Lwin explained.

Presenters for the conference include Lars Bildsten, a permanent member at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics and a physics professor at University of California, Santa Barbara; Robert Kirshner, a Harvard College astronomy professor; Hendrik Schatz, physics professor at Michigan State University and the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory and co-founder of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics; and Edward Van Den Heuvel, astronomy professor at the University of Amsterdam, where he was director of the Astronomical Institute until 2005.

Lwin retired in July 2006, after 41 years of service to Western Illinois University.

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