STEM GLAM GALLERY: HENRY LIN
Henry WanJune Lin was born in 1995 in Shreveport, Louisiana. At the age of 17, he was one of the 2015 winners of the Intel’s International Science and Engineering Fair, the biggest pre-college science research competition in the world. Working with MIT professor Michael Mcdonald, Lin spent his teenage years studying the cluster of galaxies. His work has given important data and information to the science of astrophysics.
With that young age, Lin has written three scientific papers on planets outside of our solar system. Some of his major findings include how to find rocky asteroids that orbit tiny, hot stars called white dwarfs and detecting industrial pollution in different solar systems.
Lin showed up in the TED talk at the age of 19, giving new insights into phenomena of dark matter and dark energy. In his talk, he argued that cluster galaxies are mysterious, but more importantly they are “useful as the universe’s most massive laboratories” that we should conduct the experiments with them. He recalled that galaxies are giant isolated units that are composed of million billion stars. Not only they are big but they are also million-degree hot gases! He also described that while the universe, as we knew, is made of atoms, galaxies are made up of dark matter. More important is the dark energy which he specified as the thing that makes our universe expand at an ever-escalating rate. He thought that dark energy is still yet to be fully understood in the research field. To do so, he proposed a large-scale study: studying cluster galaxies. He mentioned in his close:
“… we need to concentrate, but we also need to remember that innovation, ingenuity, inspiration—these things come when we broaden our field of vision when we step back when we zoom out. And I can’t think of a better way to do this than by studying the universe around us” which is the cluster of galaxies.
Amazing is his passion to study so-called mysterious phenomena of our universe. Lin made a big call and encouragement to study more about galaxy clusters to better understand dark energy, via his TED talk as well as in his high school commencement speech:
“Dark matter and dark energy account for 96 percent of the universe, so we’d like to know what 96 percent of the universe is, We are hoping these galaxy cluster surveys can help us out on better understanding these very, very unusual and fascinating phenomena.”