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Dark Energy: Measuring a Mystery

Friday, May 29, 2015
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Dark energy may be the most compelling problem in modern cosmology. An unexplained substance, it’s believed to be the driving force behind cosmic acceleration. And yet there is no consensus on what dark energy actually is. The answer could have profound implications for our understanding of the fundamental laws of physics. This discussion focused on three cutting-edge studies of dark energy, each using radically different techniques. Adam Riess, winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize for the discovery of dark energy, shared a new technique that attempts to more accurately measure the expansion rate of the universe. Priya Natarajan of Yale explained how dark matter can be used to explore dark energy. And Dark Energy Survey director Joshua Frieman delivered the very latest from his five-year study.

The World Science Festival’s annual salon series offers in-depth conversations with leading scientists, extending the discussion of the Festival’s premier public programs to graduate students, postdocs, faculty, and well-informed members of the general public.

The Big Ideas series is supported in part by the John Templeton Foundation. 

Photograph: Jon Smith 

Moderator

Mario LivioAstrophysicist, Author

Dr. Mario Livio is an astrophysicist, a best-selling author, and a popular speaker. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has published more than 400 scientific papers on topics ranging from Dark Energy and cosmology to black holes and extrasolar planets.

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Participants

Josh FriemanCosmologist

Josh Frieman is a senior staff scientist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and Professor of Astronomy & Astrophysics. He’s also a member of the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics at the University of Chicago.

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Priyamvada NatarajanAstrophysicist, Author

Priyamvada Natarajan is a professor at the Department of Astronomy and Physics at Yale. She is a theoretical astrophysicist interested in cosmology, gravitational lensing, and black hole physics.

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Adam RiessAstrophysicist

Adam Riess is the Thomas J. Barber Professor in Space Studies at the Johns Hopkins University Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, a distinguished astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. He received his bachelor’s degree in physics from MIT and his Ph.D.

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Location