Public Talk: Black Holes, Dark Matter and Dark Energy: Exploring the Invisible Universe by Christine Jones FormanExport this event to calendar

Friday, October 4, 2019 — 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM EDT

Christine Jones FormanUW welcomes world-renowned astrophysicist Dr. Christine Jones Forman as she presents "Black Holes, Dark Matter and Dark Energy: Exploring the Invisible Universe". Dr. Forman is a senior astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. She is the past president of the American Astronomical Society, and director of the Smithsonian Institution's Consortium for Unlocking the Mysteries of the Universe.

Abstract: Galaxies can be readily observed using the light from the billions of stars they contain. However, the stars are only part of what makes a galaxy. At the centre of almost all galaxies, we find a massive Black Hole (in fact they’re so large that astronomers call them supermassive) and we can observe very energetic outbursts caused by matter falling onto these black holes. These outbursts result in X-ray emission, and their observation requires dedicated satellite missions. While central supermassive black holes likely play a major role in determining a galaxy's stars, the black hole makes up only a very small fraction of a galaxy's mass. In massive galaxies and clusters of galaxies, most of the mass is made up of Dark Matter. This mysterious component does not interact with light - we cannot see it directly, only observe its gravitational influence. However, galaxies and clusters of galaxies are filled with very hot gas, which we can observe and use to trace the Dark Matter. Between galaxies there is an even more elusive component in the Universe - Dark Energy, which acts to suppress gravitational attraction. In this talk, I will show how we use X-ray and optical observations to trace how the Dark Matter is distributed and how clusters of galaxies evolve with the expansion of the Universe over time.

Parking

Free parking available in Lot R

Paid parking available in Lot M

Cost 
Free of charge - registration is manditory
Location 
QNC - Quantum Nano Centre
0101
200 University Avenue West

Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1
Canada

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