Print This Issue

Gary Bernstein: Reese W. Flower Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics
October 21, 2008, Volume 55, No. 9


Dr. Gary Bernstein, a professor of physics and astronomy, has been appointed the Reese W. Flower Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics. Dr. Bernstein’s research is focused on the use of gravitational lensing—the deflection of light by gravity as predicted by general relativity. His current work consists of large astronomical survey projects from space and ground that will use this lensing effect to measure as-yet-unexplained dark matter and dark energy. His past projects have included surveys of the solar system beyond Neptune and construction of one of the first mosaic CCD cameras to be placed on a large telescope, which was used to measure many of the high-redshift supernovae that provided early evidence of the accelerating universe.

The recipient of a CAREER Faculty Award from the National Science Foundation, Dr. Bernstein received his doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley, and his bachelor’s degree in physics from Princeton University. He taught at the University of Michigan before joining the Penn faculty in 2002. Dr. Bernstein is co-creator of the popular Penn physics course Energy, Oil, and Global Warming.

The Reese W. Flower Professorships were established through a bequest from Reese W. Flower in 1892. While Mr. Flower did not attend Penn, his ancestry may explain his interest in astronomy. He was a descendant of George Graham of London, a noted maker of astronomical instruments. Dr. Mark Devlin holds a second Flower Professorship in Astronomy and Astrophysics.




Almanac - October 21, 2008, Volume 55, No. 9