Scientist to talk at U3A

Maciej Soltynski

The next meeting of Helderberg U3A is on Wednesday April 5, at the Strand Town Hall, at 10am, with guest speaker Maciej Soltynski, and his presentation is titled “Towards the SKA: A Visit to Losberg”.

Mr Maciej will begin his presentation by introducing his audience to the concepts and history of radio astronomy, after which he will take them on a visit to Losberg, which will be the centre of the South African part of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA).

Already in operation at Losberg are the radio telescopes, KAT-7 and MeerKAT. When complete, the SKA will be the world’s largest public science data project, and it will generate data at a rate more than 10 times that of today’s total global internet traffic. The challenges that this will present will also be discussed.

His presentation will conclude with looking at how the SKA will be used to investigate fundamental questions of science and nature, such as: how did the universe, and the stars and galaxies contained in it, form and evolve?

Is Einstein’s theory of relativity correct? What are dark matter and dark energy? Is there life somewhere else in the universe?

But, perhaps, the most significant discoveries to be made by the SKA will be those that cannot be foreseen.

Mr Maciej was born in London and grew up in Cape Town. He studied chemistry at the University of Cape Town, and while there in the early 1960s, he discovered the delights of scientific computing.

He then joined IBM South Africa where he advised and guided users of IBM computers in scientific computing at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and at South African universities.

After 25 years with IBM, he reinvented himself as a futurist and joined the Institute for Futures Research at Stellenbosch University where he specialised in technology futures studies. He has an MPhil in Futures Studies from Stellenbosch University.

The doors open at 9.30am for tea. Guests are welcome, at R20. For more information, contact Brodwyn at 083 6040 784.