New Scientist presents ...
Albert Einstein's space-and-time-warping theories of relativity have revolutionised our view of the cosmos over the past century.
At this event, six expert speakers will guide you on a 13.8-billion-year journey through the cosmos. On the way you’ll learn what happened at the big bang and the nature of the universe’s missing 95%. You’ll look at some of the mysteries still surrounding black holes, find out what gravitational waves tell us about the history of the universe, and understand why physicists see a need for a quantum theory of gravity.
Hosted by physicist and New Scientist Executive Editor Richard Webb, our one-day masterclass offers the chance to learn directly from the experts in the fascinating fields of cosmology and relativity.
Topics covered will include:
What happened at the big bang?
This talk is a grand tour of why we think the universe began in a big bang. The session will explore the latest thoughts about what exactly happened 13.8 billion years ago; what the big bang “means” in general relativity; why we can’t directly observe it; what cosmic inflation is and its problems leading to multiverses; and possible alternatives to inflation.
The mystery of dark matter: seeing the invisible with Alexandra Amon, Cambridge University
Throughout history, the Universe has turned our grandest thoughts upside down. Now, we have evidence that galaxies are like icebergs: the stars we can see are only a small fraction of whats there. In fact, most of the cosmos is dark: dominated by dark matter yet it is invisible. It is cornerstone to our Standard Model of Cosmology, which can remarkably describe a plethora of cosmological observations. In this talk, Alexandra will look at why cosmology needs” dark matter; how we might learn more using a technique called weak gravitational lensing.
Dark energy and the Hubble tension
This talk will explain where the need for a mysterious ingredient accelerating the universe’s expansion comes from; what we do and don’t know about what dark energy might be, or what else might cause the effect we interpret as dark energy; and perhaps introduce the idea of the Hubble tension, why our measurements of the universe’s expansion don’t seem to add up, and what that might mean. Alternative theme is to look solely at Hubble Tension.
Inside black holes with Ricarda Beckmann, University of Cambridge
Black holes are some of the most extreme objects in the universe. Despite being no bigger than our solar system, they can weigh more than a small galaxy and decisively shape the evolution of their entire host galaxy. In this talk Ricarda will review what makes a black hole a black hole and how we’ve come to realise something very like them exists in different sizes throughout the cosmos. She will then explore why the universe would not look the same without black holes, and highlight some of the remaining mysteries surrounding these fascinating objects.
What gravitational waves tell us about the universe with Alberto Vecchio, Birmingham University
Gravitational waves were first detected by LIGO in 2015. This detection marked the beginning of a new era in astronomy. Gravitational-wave explorations of the universe are opening new horizons and may eventually lead us to 'listen to the sound-track' of the infant universe. In this talk Alberto will discuss what we have learnt so far about the some of most violent phenomena involving black holes and neutron stars, and why gravitational waves may be the means to unveil some of the best guarded secrets of the universe. During the talk Alberto will also discuss progress to deploy even more revolutionary gravitational-wave observatories in the next decade, such as a 1 million-km arm interferometer in space (LISA), whose observations will surely challenge yet again our understanding of the cosmos.
Quantum gravity with Eugene Lim, King’s College London
Quantum mechanics and Einstein’s theory of gravitation are two pillars that underpin much of theoretical physics today. The problem is that they don’t seems to be consistent with each other, and thus a unified theory of quantum gravity is not yet within our grasp. In this talk, Eugene will tell you why this is such a hard problem to crack.
Hosted by Richard Webb, New Scientist Executive Editor
Who should attend?
Anyone interested in the cosmology, whatever your age or background. Whether you're a scientist, a student or simply a fascinated human being, Instant Expert: Frontiers of Cosmology offers the chance to learn directly from the experts at our one-day masterclass.
Benefits of attending:
What's included in your ticket:
The event will be held in The Knowledge Centre at The British Library.
Doors will open at 9:15am, with talks commencing at 10am sharp. The event will finish at 5pm.
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