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Jeffrey Silverman, PhD

Postdoctoral researcher

University of Texas at Austin

Exploding Stars, Dark Energy, and the Runaway Universe


Some of the most energetic and fascinating objects in the Universe are exploding stars known as supernova. These colossal outbursts result from the deaths of stars and for a time can outshine the entire galaxy in which they're found. Observations of distant supernova provided the first evidence that the expansion of the Universe is speeding up with time, rather than slowing down. This wholly unexpected phenomenon is likely due to a repulsive "dark energy" and has become one of the biggest unsolved mysteries in modern science.

Meet the Speaker:

For over a decade, Dr. Jeff used some of the biggest telescopes in the world to observe and study supernova, both as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Texas at Austin and as a graduate student at UC Berkeley, where he got his Ph.D. in 2011 working with Prof. Alex Filippenko. Jeff was born and raised in Anaheim, CA, just down the street from Disneyland, and has bounced between CA and TX his entire life. His latest move was from Austin back to the Bay Area to enter the wonderful world of tech as a data scientist. Jeff co-organizes Astronomy on Tap Bay Area ( which is a free, recurring event that features accessible and engaging presentations by astronomers on a wide variety of topics.

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