Rittenhouse Lectures

The Rittenhouse Lecture is an endowed distinguished speaker series with a long tradition of inviting world class scholars to share their groundbreaking research with the Penn community. It is named in honor of “America's First Astronomer” and Philadelphia native David Rittenhouse and sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Past lecturers include:

2023 - 2024  Alan Heavens (Imperial College London)

2021 - 2022  Martha Haynes (Cornell University) "Galaxy evolution and cosmology via the 21 cm line of atomic hydrogen"

2020  - 2021 Sara Seager (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) "Exoplanets and the Search for Biosignature Gases"

2019-2020 Lars Hernquist (Harvard University) “The Illustris TNG hydrodynamic simulation of the Universe”

2018-2017 George Efstathiou "The Planck Legacy: Inflation and the Origin of Structure in the Universe"

2017-2018 Daniel Holz (Enrico Fermi Institute and Kavli Institute for Cosmology, U of Chicago) "GW170817: Hearing and Seeing a Binary Neutron Star Merger"

2016-2017 Scott Bolton (Southwest Research Institute) "Early Results from Juno's Exploration of Jupiter"

2015-2016 Adam Riess (JHU/STScI) "Expansion Of The Universe Seen By Hubble"

2014-2015 Natalia Batahla (NASA) "Towards A Reliable Determination Of Eta-earth With Kepler"

2013-2014 Scott Tremaine (Institute for Advanced Study) "Are planetary systems flat?"

2012-2013 Scott Ransom, National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO)

2011-2012 Richard Ellis (Caltech)

2010-2011 David Charbonneau

2007 - 2008 Michael Brown

2002-2003 Claude Canizares (MIT)

2001-2002 Saul Perlmutter

1999-2000 Geoffrey Marcy

1998-1999 Wendy Freedman

1997-1998 Roger Blandford

Upcoming Rittenhouse Lectures

There are no scheduled upcoming events in this category.

Past Rittenhouse Lectures

Rittenhouse Lecture: An imperfect view of the Universe

Alan Heavens (Imperial College London)
- David Rittenhouse Laboratory, A4

Our most expensive telescopes make exquisite images of the distant Universe, but however good the telescope, the images are flawed.  The light has been on a long journey, navigating through the rich array…

Rittenhouse Lecture: "Galaxy evolution and cosmology via the 21 cm line of atomic hydrogen"

Martha Haynes (Cornell University)
- See Zoom link below

The 21 cm line of atomic hydrogen (HI) provides a powerful probe of the cool-to-warm interstellar gas in galaxies. Virtually all star-forming galaxies contain a cool neutral component…

Rittenhouse Lecture: "Exoplanets and the Search for Biosignature Gases"

Sara Seager (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Cloud recording of talk: