Cosmologist Josh Frieman to present June 9 lecture on ‘The Dark Universe’

Steve Koppes
Associate News DirectorUniversity Communications

Josh Frieman, director of the international Dark Energy Survey collaboration, will kick off a new lecture series on current astrophysics with a talk on “The Dark Universe” at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 9 at the Adler Planetarium, 1300 S. Lake Shore Drive in Chicago.

Over the last decade, cosmologists have discovered that only 4 percent of the universe is made of ordinary matter — the atoms and molecules that form stars, planets and people. The other 96 percent is dark, existing in a form totally unlike anything scientists have ever encountered.

Dark matter, which makes up approximately a quarter of the universe, holds galaxies together and is the key ingredient in their formation. The remaining three-quarters of the universe is composed of dark energy, a mysterious force that is causing the expansion of the universe to speed up.

Frieman’s presentation will introduce “The Dark Universe,” review what scientists have learned about it and describe new experiments and observatories that aim to solve the enigmas of dark matter and dark energy. The presentation will include a virtual full-dome tour of the large-scale universe recently revealed by cosmic sky surveys.

Frieman is a professor in astronomy & astrophysics at the University of Chicago and a senior staff scientist at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory’s Center for Particle Astrophysics. He directs the Dark Energy Survey, a collaboration of more than 120 scientists from 20 institutions on three continents. The collaboration is building a 570-megapixel camera for a telescope in Chile to probe the origin of cosmic acceleration.

Admission is $10 general admission, $5 for Adler members and students. For more information, visit http://www.adlerplanetarium.org/calendar/the-dark-universe-lecture.