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MSRAL 2006 Convention

SLAS Regular Meeting
Friday, September 16, 2011
McDonnell Hall
Washington University

Cosmology, Thermodynamics,
and the Scientific Method


Dr. Robert Criss
Washington University

Cosmology is the study of the nature, structure, and evolution of the Universe at large. Thermodynamics is the study of heat and its effects on matter and other forms of energy. The Scientific Method is the basic problem-solving approach that underlies the amazing delivered by science in the past four hundred years.  Dr. Criss will use these three tools to pose and explore some of the great questions of science and philosophy. Some examples: What is time, and how is the Universe evolving? Is the Universe large but finite, or does it go on without limit? What was the beginning of all things, and what might be the ending?

Robert Criss is a Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Washington University. He uses precise measurements of stable atomic isotopes to probe the origin of rocks and natural waters. His primary research interests include the study of contaminated substances through groundwater flows, the behavior of flood waters in the Meramec, Missouri, and Mississippi basins, the effects of human construction on river flows, and the circulation of water in deep hydrothermal systems.

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