Past Event

Extra Dimensions, Dark Energy and Cosmic Adventures

Recent discoveries in cosmology have revealed a universe in which ordinary matter, the stuff of which humans, stars and galaxies are made, accounts for less than five percent of the universe’s total mass and energy. The vast majority of the universe, meanwhile, is made of a mysterious force that astronomers call “dark energy.” This vague name reflects the fact that scientists simply do not know what it is. They only know that it acts in opposition to gravity, accelerating the expansion of the universe. The discovery in 1998 that the expansion of the universe is accelerating was itself a surprise. Astronomers had expected to find that its expansion, driven by the big bang, was slowing down under the force of gravity.

Discussing these findings, and also speculating about what future discoveries might bring regarding cosmic destiny, the existence of extra dimensions and multiverses (multiple or parallel universes), will be five scientists who are participating in “New Views of the Universe,” the inaugural symposium of the Kavli Institute: Wendy Freedman, director of the Carnegie Observatories; Rocky Kolb, a cosmological theorist at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and the University of Chicago; Lawrence Krauss, a cosmologist at Case Western Reserve University; Lisa Randall, a particle theorist at Harvard University; and Michael Turner, a cosmologist at the University of Chicago and an assistant director of the National Science Foundation. Moderating the panel will be Ira Flatow, the host of National Public Radio’s “Talk of the Nation: Science Friday,” a weekly science, technology and environment news program.

This event is part ofthe symposium, New Views of the Universe.The symposium will focus on a broad range of topics from particle physics and cosmology of the early universe to structure formation in the local Universe.It aims to bring together cosmologists, particle physicists, astrophysicists, and astronomers from around the world to discuss the current status and the future of theory, experiments, and observations at the particle physics – cosmology interface. This symposium will also honor the memory of David Schramm who was a pioneer in research at the interface of cosmology and particle physics.

For more information on this event, please visit The University of Chicago; or call 773-702-4338.