Baylor Physicist Delivers Distinguished Speaker Lecture at University of Alabama

March 16, 2018
Dr. Lorin Matthews

Dr. Lorin Matthews appeared as part of UA's Distinguished Speaker Series.

Contact: Whitney Richter, Director of Marketing and Communications, Office of the Vice Provost for Research, 254-710-7539
Written by: Gary Stokes, Office of the Vice Provost for Research

WACO, Texas (March 16, 2018) - Baylor Professor of Physics Dr. Lorin Matthews recently addressed fellow scientists and others at a January 30, 2018, Distinguished Speakers Series seminar at the University of Alabama at Huntsville.

In her lecture titled The Growth of Cosmic Dust Bunnies: How to Build a Solar System, Matthews presented current ideas of how the many kinds of planets observed in our galaxy form from the innumerable motes of dust and chunks of cosmic debris that surround new stars.

"After a star is formed from a collapsing cloud of gas and dust, a disk of material orbiting the star remains," Matthews explained. "Planets form from the material within this disk, starting with micron-sized dust grains sticking together to form centimeter-sized 'dust bunnies.' How these fluffy aggregates grow to solid rocky bodies big enough to interact with each other gravitationally is not yet understood."

Matthews is also associate director of CASPER, Baylor's Center for Astrophysics, Space Physics and Engineering Research, of which Dr. Truell Hyde, Baylor's vice provost for research, is director.

"Lorin was my first PhD candidate as a graduate student, so it's really gratifying to see her getting this kind of recognition," Hyde said. "She's become very highly regarded in plasma science and astrophysics, and rightfully so."

Matthews' entire presentation may be viewed by clicking here.