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SCISOC TALK - Our cosmic origins: everything from nothing

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Cosmology confronts some of the most fundamental questions in the whole of science. How and when did our universe begin? What is it made of? How did galaxies and other cosmic structures form? Professor Carlos Frenk, one of the originators of the Cold Dark Matter theory, will discuss the enormous progress there has been towards answering these questions in recent decades. He will explore how recent observations have established that our universe contains an unexpected mix of components: ordinary atoms, exotic dark matter and a new form of energy called dark energy. Professor Frenk will show us how gigantic surveys of galaxies reveal how the universe is structured and how large supercomputer simulations allow us to recreate the evolution of the universe, (comma) providing the means to relate processes occurring (sp) near the beginning with observations of the universe today. His talk will examine the current picture of cosmic evolution that is beginning to emerge, going back to a tiny fraction of a second after the Big Bang, and how fundamental issues such as the identity of delete – [the] dark matter and the nature of delete – [the] dark energy remain unresolved.

Professor Carlos Frenk is one of the originators of the Cold Dark Matter theory for the origin of galaxies and cosmic structures in the Universe. He has done pioneering work on the development of large computer simulations recreating the growth and evolution of cosmic structures. Currently, he is the director of the Institute for Computational Cosmology in Durham (UK) and Ogden Professor of Fundamental Physics. He is also one of the leading figures in the Virgo Consortium for Cosmological Supercomputer Simulations. In 2014, the British Royal Astronomical Society awarded him the Gold Medal in honour of his outstanding achievements in the field of cosmology.

Free for members, £3 for non-members. Membership can be purchased on the door for £12.

This talk is part of the SciSoc – Cambridge University Scientific Society series.

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