Our Amazing Universe

Speaker: 
Pisin Chen (Nat. Taiwan Univ.)
Event Date and Time: 
Thu, 2018-09-06 16:00 - 17:00
Location: 
Hennings 201
Local Contact: 
Bill Unruh
Intended Audience: 
Undergraduate

In spite of the remarkable physics revolutions made in the 20th century, it is surprising to realize that only 5% of the substance in the Universe can be explained by the established knowledge of physics. The remaining 95% are believed to be contributed by dark matter and dark energy. What are they made of? In addition to the question about its composition, the understanding of how the Universe began remains incomplete, despite the remarkable success of the notion of cosmic inflation. What was before the Big Bang? Unlike the space, which can go in both directions, why is the time only one-directional? Alongside the Big Bang, there exists another type of the singularity in our Universe, black holes, whose existence is confirmed by the recent LIGO experiment. By fusing Einstein’s general relativity with quantum field theory, Hawking showed that black holes aren’t black but will evaporate. Would this result in the loss of information? There exist ample additional extreme phenomena in our Universe, such as ultra-high energy cosmic rays and neutrinos, gamma ray bursts, etc. What are their origins? While new discoveries have greatly improved our understanding of the Universe, they also point to new questions. In this talk I will give an overview of our amazing Universe at a pedagogical level.

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