Is our world filled with ghosts, UFOs, and psychics? Can human destinies really be mapped by astrology? Does Big Foot prowl the mountains of Southwestern Virginia?

These and other questions will be addressed by Nahum Arav, associate professor of physics in Virginia Tech’s College of Science at a public lecture Wednesday, March 26. “The Paranormal Universe” will be held in Litton Reaves Hall room 1670 starting at 7 p.m.

Arav will explore the evidence for paranormal phenomena and what roles human psychology, sociology, and the media play in our understanding of the supernatural, including astrology, prophecies, crop circles, and UFOs.

“These questions are tugging at the very foundation of science and compelling some scientists to look critically into matters of the paranormal,” Arav said.

Arav himself is one scientist who says his fascination with the supernatural runs deep. Studying the connection between science and the paranormal is his hobby. His professional area of expertise is astrophysics. Professor Arav will teach the physics department’s revamped Introduction to Astronomy courses (Astronomy 1055-1056) in fall 2008 and spring 2009.

Arav joined the physics department earlier this year after serving five years as a fellow of the University of Colorado’s Center for Astrophysics and Space Astronomy, where he earned his Ph.D. in 1994.

The event is free to the public and will be followed by an informal discussion.

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