Lecture by Dr. Marcel van Daalen (UC Berkeley, Dept. of Astronomy)
Astronomers claim to know a lot about our Universe. They say that our Universe started with a big bang, 13.8 billion years ago. It is expanding, at an ever increasing rate. Furthermore, it contains copious amounts of dark matter and dark energy, which we do not understand. But what do astronomers mean by all this, and how can they know? In this lecture, I will discuss not only what we know, but how we know it. I will discuss how our views on (and models of) the Universe have changed over the years, what proofs we have to support our current model – including why dark matter and dark energy must exist, even though we do not know what they are – and the uncertainties and unknowns involved.Dr. Marcel van Daalen began his astronomy career in Europe. He obtained his Master’s from Leiden University, the Netherlands, followed by a joint PhD at both Leiden Observatory and the Institute for Astrophysics near Munich, Germany. In August 2014 he moved to Berkeley with his wife Marieke, where he is currently a postdoctoral researcher at both the astronomy department at UC Berkeley and the cosmology department at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. His work focuses mainly on the properties of the Universe as a whole, and how the formation of galaxies influences the distribution of matter (e.g. http://arxiv.org/abs/1104.1174, http://arxiv.org/abs/1310.7571).
VALLEY LSB, Room: 2060
Sunday, November 09, 2014; 3:00 PM-5:00 PM
Followed by a reception.