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The Surprising Expansion History of the Universe

Adam Riess (2011 Nobel Laureate in Physics), Johns Hopkins University and the Space Telescope Science Institute
Wednesday, July 20, 2022 - 7:30pm
Kane Hall 130
Adam Reiss Picture

In 1929 Edwin Hubble discovered that our Universe is expanding. Eighty years later, the Space Telescope that bears his name is being used to study an even more surprising phenomenon: that the expansion is speeding up. The origin of this effect is not known, but is broadly attributed to a type of “dark energy” first posited to exist by Albert Einstein and now dominating the mass-energy budget of the Universe. Professor Riess will describe how his team discovered the acceleration of the Universe and why understanding the nature of dark energy presents one of the greatest remaining challenges in astrophysics and cosmology. He will also discuss recent evidence that the Universe continues to defy our best efforts to predict its behavior.

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