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Where are the Aliens and Moon Colonies?

SMCM Talk Feb. 24 Defines How to More Accurately Predict the Future
February 9, 2010
Press Release #10-020


What does the future have in store for humanity?  How do we go about accurately predicting it?  How much of it, in fact, can be foretold?  St. Mary's College of Maryland Professor of Physics Charles Adler will describe what can and cannot be anticipated using the laws of nature at the 2010 Steven Muller Distinguished Professor Lecture entitled "The World of the Future" at 7 p.m. Wednesday, February 24, 2010, at Daugherty-Palmer Commons. The lecture is free and open to the public.

"Predicting the future," Dr. Adler said, "is a dangerous game, because it's always more complicated than we imagine it to be. Things which seemed like certainties in the 1950s, like alien contact and Moon bases, still haven't happened.  But there are some things which are predictable because they are firmly based on well-understood laws of nature."

Dr. Adler will describe what we know about the future using simple ideas such as the conservation of energy, the increase in entropy over time, and the speed of light (the ultimate speed limit of the Universe).

Dr. Adler, also chair of the Natural Science & Mathematics Colloquium series, is connected with the atomic physics laboratory at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station and has been the principal investigator on research grants for studies in rainbow refractometry and development of atomic physics projects.  He is also the organizer of the 2010 "Light and Color" conference being held at St. Mary's College in June, 2010. 

The Muller Distinguished Professorship of Sciences honors faculty whose accomplishments in the sciences establishes their expertise in a field of research.

  St. Mary's College of Maryland, designated the Maryland state honors college in 1992, is ranked one of the best liberal arts schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger's, and The Princeton Review. Founded in 1840 as Maryland's "monument school" commemorating the state's first capital, SMCM is the state's only public honors college.

More than 2,000 students attend the college, which has the highest graduation rate for all Maryland public colleges and universities, and an SAT average for student admissions of 1848. The school's waterfront campus along the St. Mary's River in Southern Maryland is home to the 2009 National Intercollegiate Sailing Association Co-ed champions.