Abstract: 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.
An affiliate event of the Chicago Ideas Week 2012
The Chicago Council on Science and Technology, the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics and the School of the Art Institute present
What: Exploring the Universe from the Bottom of the World
Where: School of the Art Institute of Chicago
112 South Michigan Ave., SAIC Ballroom
When: Thursday, October 11th, 2012
Reception & Registration – 5pm. RSVP required for the reception. Please register below.
Presentation – 6pm. Free & Open to the Public.
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