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You are never too young or too old to wonder: Why?

Guide to the Cosmos
Making the Wonders of our Universe

Accessible to Everyone

Robert L. Piccioni, Ph.D.

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Dr. Piccioni's presentations provide public access to the entire range of modern physics & cosmology.

We live in a fascinating time: the Golden Age of Astronomy and Cosmology. More has been learned in our lifetime about stars, galaxies, black holes and the universe than in the entire prior history of mankind.

Unfortunately, many people don't have the opportunity to appreciate these great discoveries, because real science is often shrouded in complex math and technical jargon and popularized science is often so watered down as to be almost meaningless.

Dr. Piccioni presents Real Science for Real People. Rather than "dumbing it down”, he carefully translates frontier science into plain English using exquisite cosmic images and simple, informative graphics.

He has presented the wonders of our universe to over 300 non-technical audiences on three continents, from grade-schoolers to retirees. His students at the Osher Institute voted Dr. Piccioni “Teacher of the Year.”

Dr. Piccioni will be delighted to speak to your audience. His presentations can be customized to accommodate your group's interests and time constraints.


Einstein for Everyone
  • Hardly anyone has failed more often or faced more rejection
  • How did Einstein overcome these challenges to become the most famous scientist in history?
  • What were his discoveries and how do they impact our lives every day?
  • In plain English, what do his theories really mean?
Our Place in the Universe
  • What is “our Universe”?
  • How big and how old is it?
  • How much does it contain?
  • What is it made of?
  • Where do we fit into the grand cosmic scheme?
Can Life Be Merely An Accident?
  • Science has discovered that Life is the most remarkable phenomenon in the universe.
  • What are the physical requirements for any form of Life?
  • What are the odds these requirements were satisfied by random chance?
  • How improbable are: a viable universe; Earth; and DNA?
Our Universe: the Known and the Unknown
  • What has science learned about the universe?
  • What don’t we know? What might we never know?
  • What came before and how will it end?
  • What is expanding and what isn’t?
Science and Faith
  • What is science?
  • What are the strengths and limitations of science?
  • What is the “God of the Gaps”?
  • The remarkable similarity between Genesis and the Big Bang
  • Science and Faith both search for Truth; they can compliment one another.
General Relativity for Everyone
  • Some say Einstein’s Relativity is the greatest achievement of the human mind.
  • How do Newton’s and Einstein’s theories of gravity compare?
  • How does the Equivalence Principal make Relativity simpler?
  • How does a simple expression, 2M/r, describe the salient features of black holes, the expanding universe, and the intriguing properties of time?
The Micro-World of Particles and Quantum Mechanics
  • Why does the submicroscopic world seem so strange?
  • Why does the micro-world lack diversity?
  • What are the smallest pieces that comprise everything we see?
  • What are nature’s four forces?
  • How do ramps and staircases explain quantum mechanics?
  • What is reality in the micro-world?
Journey to the Dark Side: Dark Matter and Dark Energy
  • Why do we know so little about 95% of the universe?
  • What is the evidence for dark matter and dark energy?
  • What do we know about them and what don’t we know?
A World Without Einstein
  • What products and technologies depend on Einstein’s discoveries?
  • What would our world be like without them?
  • If Einstein hadn’t existed, would someone else have made the same discoveries?
Stars, Energy and Black Holes
  • Why do stars shine?
  • How many stars are there?
  • Can stars show us how to make clean, cheap energy?
  • What happens when stars die in cataclysmic explosions, leaving exotic remnants such as black holes?