Exploring the Universe from the Bottom of the World

 

Thursday, October 11, 2012
Reception at 5:00 p.m., RSVP required
Presentation at 6:00 p.m., free and open to the public
SAIC Ballroom, 112 S. Michigan Ave. 

Speaker: John Carlstrom, PhD., Professor at the Departments of Astronomy & Astrophysics, Physics, and the Enrico Fermi Institute; and Director of the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics at the University of Chicago

Co-presented with the Chicago Council on Science and Technology (C2ST) and the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics (KICP)

Our quest to understand the origin, evolution and make-up of the Universe has undergone dramatic and surprising advances over the last decades. Much of the progress has been driven by measurements of the cosmic microwave background radiation, the fossil light from the big bang, that provide a glimpse of the Universe as it was 14 billion years ago. By studying tiny variations in the background radiation, cosmologists have been able to test theories of the origin and evolution of the Universe, as well as determine that ordinary matter (the stuff that makes up stars and humans alike) accounts for a mere 4% of the density of the Universe, that the mysterious dark matter accounts for six times that amount, and that a still-elusive and poorly understood “dark energy” is required to make up the remaining 70% of the Universe. After reviewing how we have arrived at such startling conclusions, this talk will focus on new measurements being carried out with the 10-meter South Pole Telescope to test theories of the origin of the Universe and to investigate the nature of mysterious dark energy.

RSVP for the reception

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