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From Mars to the Multiverse

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Astronomer Royal

Come to the Old Combination Room on 20th of February at 6 pm to hear from Professor Lord Martin Rees, the Astronomer Royal, former President of the Royal Society, and a former Master of Trinity College!

Lord Martin Rees is a leading cosmologist and astrophysicist as well as a senior figure in UK science. He has conducted influential theoretical work on subjects as diverse as black hole formation and extragalactic radio sources, and provided key evidence to contradict the Steady State theory of the evolution of the Universe.

This free talk will start at 18:15 with refreshments available from 18:00. To reach Old Combination Room, enter via Great Gate, go diagonally across the court, into the hall and upstairs. You can find our banner near the entrance.

“Powerful instruments had led to astonishing progress in tracing theemergence of atoms, galaxies, stars and planets from a mysterious’beginning’ nearly 14 billion years ago. Unmanned spacecraft have visitedthe other planets of our Solar System (and some of their moons), beamingback pictures of varied and distinctive worlds. An exciting development inthe last two decades has been the realisation that many other stars areorbited by retinues of planets—some resembling our Earth (and capable ofharboring life).

Looking further afield, observers can probe galaxies and the massive backholes at their centres and can check models of their evolution by detectingobjects all the way back to an epoch only a billion years after the ‘bigbang’.Indeed we can trace pre-galactic history with some confidence back toa nanosecond after the ‘big bang’.

But the key parameters of our expanding universe—the expansionrate, the geometry and the content—were established far earlier still,when the physics is still conjectural but is being constrained, especiallyby precision measurements of the microwave background. These advances posenew questions: What does the long-range future hold? Should we be surprisedthat the physical laws permitted the emergence of complexity? Are there other ‘big bangs’?”

This talk is part of the Trinity College Science Society (TCSS) series.

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