International Supernova Cosmology Project Leader to speak at U-M
DATE: March 29, 2006.
EVENT: Saul Perlmutter, Professor of Physics, University of California at Berkeley and Astrophysicist, Supernova Cosmology project leader, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will give the sixth annual Ford Motor Company Distinguished Lecture in Physics, "Supernovae, Dark Energy, and the Accelerating Universe—What Next?" Perlmutter's observations lead to an unexpected discovery of extraordinary importance: the determination, through the careful study of distant supernovae that the expansion of the universe is speeding up rather than slowing down. The announcement of the "accelerating universe" in 1998 was named scientific "breakthrough of the year" by the journal Science. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences.
TOPIC: The properties of the mysterious "dark energy" that is apparently accelerating the expansion of the universe. A new generation of projects is now starting to collect data with the aim of making a more precise and accurate measurement of the universe's expansion history. These measurements—primarily using supernovae as "calibrated candles"—are still the most direct way to constrain dark energy's properties.
He will discuss the most recent results from these and other approaches, including several in the advanced planning stage. The challenge that we face is to control the systematic uncertainties at the exquisitely precise level necessary to help point us towards the best models of dark energy. Such demanding measurement requirements have lead to the design of the proposed SNAP/JDEM space telescope.
• 3:30 p.m. reception in the first floor East Hall Atrium located directly behind the lecture hall facing Church Street.
SPONSORS: Ford Motor Co.; presented by the U-M Physics Department
EVENT CONTACT: (734) 764-4437, U-M Physics Department reception desk.
Contact: Carol Rabuck