Until 1998 it was thought that the universe’s expansion was slowing down.
Then two different scientific teams collaborated their research in an effort that would turn it all upside down. Their evidence pointed to the opposite conclusion: the expansion of the universe is actually accelerating.
Not only did this change the way that scientists think about, well everything, it also led to the discovery of dark energy – a substance thought to account for 73 percent of all matter in the universe – as an explanation for the phenomenon.
The three scientist at that headed these investigations Brian Schmidt, Adam Riess and Saul Perlmutter, went on to become celebrated figures within the scientific community, and after winning the 2011 Nobel Prize in physics, they are now on the international celebrity list.
Now one of those scientists, astronomer Brian Schmidt of the Australian National University, is coming to Chile to pay tribute to a country that played a crucial part in his discoveries.
“I am going to thank and give something back to the people in Chile that helped my work,” Schmidt said. “Chilean astronomy played an important role in the discovery (of the rapid expansion of the universe), something that, at times, is easy to forget.”
At the invitation of Chilean astronomers Mario Hamuy and Alejandro Clocchiatti, from the Universidad de Chile and Universidad Católica, respectively, the Australian astronomer will give two lectures – open to the public – where he will explain how the universe’s expansion is accelerating.
When and where
The first, entitled “Exploration of the Cosmos from Chile: understanding the Universe and how science generates prosperity,” will be held on Tuesday, June 26, in the Salón de Honor of the office of Congress in Santiago at 11:00 a.m.
Though it is free, space is limited, and due to the high level of interest, bookings should be made in advanceo9. To make a reservation, click here.
The second, to be held the following day in the Biblioteca de Santiago (“Library of Santiago”), is already entirely booked.