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Testing Einstein with Lasers and the Moon: The APOLLO Project

  • Framingham State University Planetarium 100 State Street Framingham, MA, 01702 United States (map)

Dr. James Battat, Wellesley College

Dr. Battat will share updates on the precision tests of gravity with the Apache Point Observatory Lunar Laser-ranging Operation (APOLLO) project that uses Apollo-era mirrors left on the lunar surface. The talk is introduced and complemented by a full dome planetarium presentation by Mary MacDonald of the McAuliffe Center.

Sponsored by: McAuliffe Center and the MetroWest STEM Education Network
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Dr. James Battat is an assistant professor of physics at Wellesley College. His research addresses two deep mysteries in physics: dark matter and dark energy. He works with the APOLLO collaboration (Apache Point Observatory Lunar Laser-ranging Operation) on tests of gravity using the Lunar Laser Ranging technique. He also collaborates with the DRIFT experiment (Directional Recoil Information From Tracks) to search for dark matter particles using underground detectors. Dr. Battat hold a B.S. in Physics from Brown University and a Ph.D. in Astronomy from Harvard University.

Mary MacDonald is the Planetarium Educator at the Christa McAuliffe Center for Integrated Science Learning. She has been teaching science, in and out of the dome, for almost 10 years.