The Accelerating Universe: Einstein's Blunder Undone


Robert Kirshner of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics talks about exploding stars and the accelerating universe.

The discovery of the acceleration of the expansion of the universe is one of the most surprising results of 20th century astrophysics. Around 1916, Albert Einstein famously introduced a "cosmological constant" to make a static universe. In the 1930s, the work of Edwin Hubble and others showed that we live in an expanding universe and Einstein shunned his own creation. But in the 1990s, astronomers began to develop sharp tools for accurately measuring the history of comic expansion over the past 5 billion years. The observations of thermonuclear supernovae showed that the Universe is not just expanding, but that the expansion is speeding up. We attribute this astonishing fact to the presence of "dark energy" which may be a modern form of the cosmological constant. Today, a firm web of evidence makes the dark energy a leading mystery of modern physics.

Location details: 

Rio Theatre
1205 Soquel Avenue
Santa Cruz, CA 95062

Invited Audience: 
Event dates: 
05/13/2015 - 7:00pm