Live-streamed Lectures

About SFAA Live-streamed Lectures

Once monthly, the SFAA hosts distinguished guest speakers who are leaders in the fields of astronomy, physics and related disciplines. The speakers present to the public and SFAA members the latest developments from cutting-edge scientific programs.   To view archived lectures, click here.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic,  the monthly lectures are being made available by live stream.  Use your computer or mobile device to connect to the links provided below.


21 July 2021, 7:00 PM, Wednesday, Live-streamed via Zoom, YouTube and Facebook

“Fast Radio Bursts: ElectroMagnetic Pulses from Cosmologically Distant Neutron Stars with Hundred GigaTesla Magnetic Field?”


Roger Blandford, Stanford, KIPAC, Professor Particle Physics and Astrophysics

For over a decade, radio astronomers have been observing millisecond pulses of intense radio emission. They now appear to be associated with strongly magnetized neutron stars called Magnetars, where extreme quantum electrodynamic (QED) and plasma processes take place. The rapidly developing observational picture will be summarized and a plethora of theoretical models will be reported.The possibility that Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) and pulsar radio emission are an expression of force-free electrodynamics, as originally developed by James Clerk Maxwell, will be discussed.

Brief Bio

Roger Blandford took his BA, MA and PhD degrees at Cambridge University. Following postdoctoral research at Cambridge, Princeton and Berkeley he took up a faculty position at Caltech in 1976 where he was appointed as the Richard Chace Tolman Professor of Theoretical Astrophysics in 1989.

In 2003, he moved to Stanford University to become the first Director of the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology and the Luke Blossom Chair in the School of Humanities and Science. His research interests include black hole astrophysics, cosmology, gravitational lensing, cosmic ray physics and compact stars.

He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Physical Society and a Member of the National Academy of Sciences. In 2008-2010, he chaired a two year National Academy of Sciences Decadal Survey of Astronomy and Astrophysics.

Dr. Blandford was awarded the 1998 Dannie Heineman Prize of the American Astronomical Society, the 2013 Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society, the 2016 Crafoord Prize for Astronomy and the 2020 Shaw Prize for Astronomy.

How to Attend

To attend the virtual meeting "live" with the opportunity to ask questions:

Connect starting at 6:30pm on Wednesday, July 21st by clicking this Zoom meeting link:

Clicking the link may prompt you to install the Zoom virtual meeting app. Once installed, you will be able to join the meeting. If the app is already installed on your device, simply enter the meeting number 958 3090 4603 and password 116064 to join the meeting.

Once joined, you can test your audio and video, and greet other members.

Board members will join the meeting early to help troubleshoot any problems with audio or video.

"Doors Open" at 6:30pm and the announcements and lecture will start promptly at 7:00pm.

Alternatively, please visit the following channels to attend the live stream:

SFAA YouTube channel:

SFAA Facebook: