Prof. George F. Smoot III

MAPPING THE UNIVERSE AND ITS HISTORY
by
Prof. George F. Smoot III
2006 Nobel Laureate in Physics
University of California Berkeley
Universite Sorbonne Paris Cite
Dogra Hall, IIT Delhi
5:00 PM, Friday, October 31, 2014

SPEAKER:

George F. Smoot, III, Ph.D. is a Professor of Physics and a Research Physicist at the University of California, Berkeley and now also at the Universite Sorbonne Paris Cite where he also directs the Paris Centre for Cosmological Physics (PCCP). He received his B.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1966 and his Ph.D. in 1970. He has been serving UC Berkeley and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory since 1970. In 2006 he was co-awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics with John Mather for “ their discovery of the blackbody form and anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background radiation ”. Currently, Dr. Smoot conducts research in astrophysics and observational cosmology, and is widely known for his research on the cosmic background radiation, which is believed to have been a relict the Big Bang. He is the author on 9 US patents, over 500 scientific papers, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a newly elected member of the National Academy of Inventors.

ABSTRACT:

Using our most advanced techniques and instruments we sift through light coming to us from all parts of the universe. We separate and study the cosmic microwave background as a relic of the very early universe to understand the events surrounding the birth and subsequent development of the Universe. A precision inspection and investigation of the CMB and other observations along with careful analysis, discussion, and computer modeling have allowed us determine what happened over billions of years with amazing certainty and accuracy. Some of the findings are surprising. A continuing mapping of the large scale structure allows us to check this in detail and gives us the concepts for even more ways to map the history of the Universe. While things are so far consistent, there remain even more mysteries to be solved. In spite of that we can tell the tale of the creation and history of the Universe and show key supporting evidence some of it from very early times including using the cosmic background light to provide a direct image of the embryo universe. This talk will be a review of the current state of cosmological observations based on observations and the challenging issues still to be confronted.