What we do and don’t know about the Universe (and how we know it)

Professor Matthew Colless
Event date
Event time
17:00 - 18:00
Department of Physics
Martin Wood Lecture Theatre
Parks Road
Event type
Lectures and seminars
Event cost
Disabled access?
Booking required

Professor Matthew Colless, Distinguished Professor, Australian National University, will present the 25th Hintze Lecture, entitled What we do and don’t know about the Universe (and how we know it).


This talk will give an overview of the key facts we now know about the Universe - its size, age, constituents, origin, history and future - and explain how we have come to know these things through observations mapping the cosmic microwave background radiation from the Big Bang and the evolving 'cosmic web' of galaxy positions and velocities. It will show how we are recovering the expansion history of the Universe and the growth of its large-scale structure using vast new surveys, and how this rich lode of information allows us to measure many important properties of the Universe with remarkable precision. But it will also emphasise just how ignorant we are about basic elements of the standard model of cosmology, including dark matter, dark energy, inflation, the Big Bang, and quantum gravity, and conclude by discussing prospects in the near future for shedding light on these fundamental mysteries.