Guest Professor to Discuss Dark Matter and Dark Energy


Bharat Ratra will present “The Accelerating Expanding Universe: Dark Matter, Dark Energy and Einstein’s Cosmological Constant” at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 23 in the Del and Norma Robison Planetarium.

Ratra is a distinguished professor of physics at Kansas State University and works in the areas of cosmology and astroparticle physics. He researches the structure and evolution of the universe. Two of his current principal interests include developing models for the large-scale matter and radiation distributions in the universe and testing these models by comparing predictions to observational data.

In 1988, Ratra and astronomer Jim Peebles proposed the first dynamical dark energy model. Dark energy is the leading candidate for the mechanism that is responsible for causing the cosmological expansion to accelerate.

During his presentation, Ratra will describe the astronomical data which persuades cosmologists that dark energy and dark matter are the main components of the energy budget of the universe at the present time. He will review how these observations have led to the development of a quantitative “standard” model of cosmology that describes the evolution of the universe from an early epoch of inflation to the complex hierarchy of structure seen today. He will also discuss the basic physics and history of ideas on which this model is based.

This event is hosted by the Physics Department and is free to the public.
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