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Mixed in among physicist Lawrence Krauss’s writings on the relationship between science and faith, there’s an op-ed or two on the relationship between Case Western Reserve University’s faculty (of which Krauss is a member) and the school’s trustees. No surprise, then, that when he’s telling the ultimate universal story—how our world came into being and where it’s going—he’s able to take an extremely local vantage point. In his lecture “The Biography of an Atom,” Krauss follows the journey of a lone oxygen atom, beginning with the Big Bang and continuing through its role in the lives of planets and stars. Given that his talk includes his take on a potentially depressing topic—the eventual end of the universe—you may want to tackle a smaller question (“How accurate is his online self-description as ‘moderately photogenic?’” for example) when Krauss discusses and signs copies of his work at 6:30 p.m. at the Ripley Center Lecture Hall, 1100 Jefferson Drive SW. $40. (202) 252-0012. (Joe Dempsey)