University of Chicago cosmologist Sean Carroll discusses the mysterious “dark energy” that scientists believe accounts for 70% of what makes up the universe in a Lawrence University Science Hall Colloquium.
Carroll, assistant professor of physics at the University of Chicago, the Enrico Fermi Institute and the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics, presents “Our Preposterous Universe” Monday, May 2 at 4:15 p.m. in Science Hall, Room 102. The event is free and open to the public.
According to Carroll, what people think of as ordinary matter — atoms and molecules, stars and planets — actually accounts for less than five percent of the known universe. In his talk, Carroll will address current theories, which are based on such observations as gravitational pull and galaxy dynamics, that suggest the presence of an unseen, unknown form known as dark energy that some scientists believe is the most abundant substance in the universe. Among the most widely held theories Carroll will discuss is the existence of “vacuum energy,” a minute amount of energy that is inherit in the very fabric of space-time itself.
Carroll, whose research interests focus on the fundamental laws of physics and how they are revealed in the evolution of the universe, joined the University of Chicago faculty in 1999 after spending three years in the physics department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He earned his Ph.D. in physics at Harvard University.