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Berkeley Lab FRIENDS OF SCIENCE
in association with Chabot Space & Science Center
and the World Year of Physics

Free Public Lecture:
The Search for Dark Energy in the Accelerating Universe

Monday, November 14, 2005

by Prof. Saul Perlmutter
Professor of Physics, UC Berkeley
&
Senior Scientist, Berkeley Lab

At the Berkeley Repertory Theatre
2025 Addison Street

Monday, November 14, 2005
5:00 – 6:30 p.m.


Will the universe last forever, or someday will it come to an end? Surprisingly, this apparently philosophical question can be answered empirically. Light from the cataclysmic explosions of distant stars — supernovae — provides us with natural mile markers across the vast expanses of space, markers that can be used to track the past expansion of the universe and extrapolate its fate. The most recent results are unsettling, at least to physicists. It appears that the universe will last forever, and that its expansion will speed up indefinitely. If so, some fundamental physics concepts may need to be revised, and some mysterious "dark energy" — perhaps Einstein's "cosmological constant" — may pervade the universe.

This is the first decade in which we can begin to answer such cosmological questions with a variety of measurement techniques. By developing new detector systems and larger telescopes both on earth and in space we are opening a new chapter of striking discoveries. Come to hear Saul Perlmutter discuss this decade of discovery.