Research Professor of Astrophysics and Cosmology
Areas of Expertise
Bennett is a pioneer in a technique called gravitational microlensing, which may be an exceptional technology for finding distant planets with traits that could support life. Gravitational microlensing is based on an effect predicted by Albert Einstein in 1915. During a gravitational microlensing event, the almost perfect alignment between a background source star, a lens star, and an observatory allows researchers to discover a planet that orbits the lens star. The technique enables the detection of a planet’s gravitational field on the light seen from the more distant background star. When two stars are perfectly aligned as seen from Earth, the gravitational field of the foreground star acts as a lens to magnify the background star. Astronomers don’t see the planet or the star that is orbiting, but the effect of their gravity reveals the existence of a planet around the lens star. Bennett was a founding member of the MACHO Project, which discovered the first known gravitational microlensing event in 1993.
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International criminal law, complex criminal litigation, terrorism, terrorist financing, anti-money laundering, organized crime
Law, morality, and religion, religious freedom, medical ethics, complicity with wrongdoing, Catholic moral theology
Warfare, anthropology of war and peace, epicenters of conflict and peacebuilding, transnational crime, globalization, gender, culture theory