University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy

MN Institute for Astrophysics Colloquium

Thursday, October 12th 2017
Speaker: Lawrence Rudnick, University of Minnesota
Subject: A Walk on the Dark Side

Our Universe is comprised of far more than meets the eye. For 13.8 billion years, gravity has been creating enormous bound structures, the largest of which are clusters of galaxies. Modern telescopes are uncovering an astonishing variety of structures in these clusters which are invisible to the human eye – from X-ray emitting gas at 100s of millions of degrees, to supermassive black holes at the centers of cluster galaxies, to the popularized but not yet understood dark matter that holds everything together. Even the enigmatic dark energy plays a role in cluster formation. Our tour of clusters will start with the first recognition of curious concentrations of fuzzy objects in the sky to the latest discoveries using telescopes across the Earth and space.

About the Speaker: Professor Rudnick is a Distinguished Teaching Professor of Astrophysics, whose research focuses on clusters of galaxies and other large scale structures in the Universe. He uses ground and space telescopes, primarily in the radio and X-ray part of the spectrum. His teaching includes eclectic freshman seminars such as “The Ultimate Questions,” and “Nothing.” Professor Rudnick has been active for many years with a variety of television, radio, and other public programming, and is now working toward the opening of the Bell Museum and Planetarium in 2018 on the St. Paul campus.

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