A University of Arizona astrophysicist who made astronomical breakthroughs without ever looking through a telescope lens will deliver a public talk tonight.

David Arnett will speak on the subject of "Computers and Thinking" as part of the Steward Observatory's "Public Evening" series.

Arnett will reprise the lecture he gave to the American Astronomical Society, which awarded him the 2012 Henry Norris Russell lectureship in honor of his lifetime contributions to astronomy.

Arnett will tell the personal story of how he used computer simulations to unravel some of the biggest mysteries in astronomy.

His citation from the American Astronomical Society reads: "Arnett has been a leader in developing our understanding of core-collapse processes and the fusion of new elements in massive stars. He has also done pioneering work on thermonuclear burning in white-dwarf stars and on the origin of Type 1a supernovae, which are at the center of contemporary observational cosmology."

Arnett is a Regents professor of astrophysics at the University of Arizona's Steward Observatory, a member of the National Academy of Sciences and winner of the 2009 Hans A. Bethe Prize of the American Physical Society.

In addition to his own work, his talk will make "historical connections to a variety of broader issues," according to the Steward Observatory website.


Arnett's talk is at 7:30 p.m. today in Room N210 of Steward Observatory, 933 N. Cherry Ave.