Out of This World
Since our ancestors first walked the Earth, we have experienced awe and wonder as we look up at the magnificent splendor of the night sky. In this issue of USC Dornsife Magazine, we explore the cosmos from many different angles: we celebrate how it inspires human creativity; listen to two theoretical cosmologists discuss some of the greatest mysteries of the universe; voyage back in time to discover what the ancients figured out about the cosmos; meet two alumni who co-lead a laboratory at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena where they search for the origins of life; examine the possibility of extraterrestrial life and how we might best communicate with aliens; and debate the ethical and political implications of attempting to own the universe and its resources. Once you have read the issue, you may see the stars in a whole new light! —S.B.
(Top Photo: Vahé Peroomian.)
From the origins of the Big Bang to the composition of dark energy, dark matter and black holes, USC Dornsife cosmologists Vera Gluscevic and Elena Pierpaoli are searching for answers to the mysteries of the universe.
We have been fascinated by the wonders of the universe and have endeavored to understand our place within it since our earliest ancestors first gazed up in awe at the night sky. So, how did ancient civilizations make sense of the cosmos — and what did they get right?
Our sense of wonder at the cosmos, and our desire to try to make sense of our place within it, have inspired generations of artists, writers, designers, musicians and filmmakers.
With many countries, companies and individuals intensifying their space exploration programs, questions about rights, ownership and the feasibility of manned space missions are coming to the fore of public debate.
For many scientists, it’s no longer a question of “if” but “when” we encounter alien life. So, what will happen when humans finally do come face-to-face with E.T.?
Alumni Laurie Barge ’09 and Scott Perl ’19 co-lead a laboratory at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. There, they search for the origins of life on Earth to better understand how life might develop elsewhere in the universe.
USC Dornsife Magazine
c/o Crisann Begley-Smith
1150 S. Olive Street, Fl. 24
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Senior Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives and Communication
Art Director/Production Manager
Writers and Editors
Darrin S. Joy
Videographer and Photographer
Crisann Begley-Smith, Maddy Davis, Eric Lindberg, Marc Merhej, Jenesse Miller, Tia Richards