Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Dark Energy and the Runaway Universe

San Francisco Public LibraryWednesday evening the San Francisco Public Library presented astronomer Alex Filippenko in a lecture on Dark Energy. This year's Nobel Prize in Physics recognized the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the universe, & Prof. Filippenko was on one of the teams that made this measurement. He led us through the background for the discovery & described the conclusion that something called Dark Energy makes up 73% of the stuff in the universe & is causing the universe to expand at an accelerating rate. I found the talk informative & mind-boggling. Everything we can observe, from people to galaxies, makes up only .4% of the universe. Someday the expansion of the universe will be so great that we won't see any galaxies at all; they'll all be too far away.

Prof. Filippenko is an exuberant speaker with a weakness for bad puns, & he taught us the insult "Spherical Bastard." The 70 minute talk was well-attended. The audience ranged from college students to seniors. Judging by their questions, they were a scientifically well-informed bunch.

§ Dark Energy and the Runaway Universe
Alex Filippenko, Professor of Astronomy at UC Berkeley

A One City One Book event
Wed, 10/26/2011, 6:15 - 7:45
Koret Auditorium, Main Library

1 comment:

Rob's Tots said...

impressing!!!!!We sometimes watch History and Discovery and it is so beyond our comprehension!!!!