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Science Café kicks off with distinguished FSU physics professor

Thomas University’s Science Café will kick off the 2014-15 season on Tuesday, Sept. 30, with “Across the Universe” Tales of Mystery and Imagination from the World of Physics.” The presenter will be Dr. Mark Riley, who will describe recent advances in physics from the discovery of the Higgs particle, how chemical elements are created, and the mysteries of dark matter and dark energy.

Riley is a professor in the Physics Department at Florida State University. He served as chair of the department from 2007 to 2013. In 2014 Riley received FSU’s Robert D. Lawton Distinguished Professor Award, the higher honor presented to a faculty member. He graduated from the University of Liverpool with a Ph.D. in nuclear physics. Riley joined FSU in 1991.

He has been described as “a giant in the field of low-energy nuclear structure.” Riley’s research includes investigation into nuclear-structure physics and the techniques of gamma-ray spectroscopy.

The Science Café will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Flowers Foods Executive Classroom inside Smith-Bonvillian Hall on TU’s Main Campus. Guests are welcome to come for a reception from 6 to 6:30 in the lobby of the building.

The Science Café is a forum for face-to-face conversations with scientists about current science topics. It is presented by the Thomas University Division of Education and is open to learners of all ages. For more information, contact April D. Penton at

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