Hopkins' Nobel winner Riess to speak at Baltimore synagogue Sunday

Adam Riess, the Nobel Prize-winning astronomy professor at Johns Hopkins University, will discuss the expansion of the universe and its mysteries in an event at Bolton Street Synagogue on Sunday.

Riess will present and lead a discussion titled "Exploding Stars, an Expanding Universe and Mysterious Dark Energy" at the Roland Park house of worship. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences recognized him for his work in that area in 2011.

He shared the $1.49 million prize with fellow American Saul Perlmutter and U.S.-Australian citizen Brian Schmidt "for the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the universe through observations of distant supernovae," according to the announcement.

But a Ph.D. isn't required to check out the lecture.

"He’s very good at explaining things in ways that don’t require you to be an astrophysicist to understand," said Mark Hyman, a former president of the synagogue who helped organize the event. (Hyman is also a former Baltimore Sun reporter.)

The lecture is part of the synagogue's "Uncommon Voices Series", in partnership with the Maryland Science Center. The synagogue launched the series after moving from Bolton Hill to Roland Park in 2003, in an effort to reach out to the community around it, Hyman said.

They were also helped in lining up Riess as a speaker because he's a member of the congregation, Hyman said.

The event is free and open to the public. It starts at 3 p.m. Sunday at the synagogue, 212 W. Cold Spring Lane.

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