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SMP 3/10/12 | The Shape of Our Universe: The Complexity of Large-Scale Structure and Large-Scale Science | Speaker: Brian Nord Jr.

Saturday, March 10, 2012
12:00 AM
170 & 182 Dennison Building

Speaker: Dr. Brian Nord Jr., Research Fellow (UM Physics)

In the first of Dr. Nord's lectures he examines questions such as what is the size and shape of our universe? How do we know? What kind of experiments can we actually perform? The universe's shape and internal structure are primarily driven by the force of gravity and by the mysterious dark energy. Over the last century, dramatic strides have been made in our understanding of large-scale cosmic structure, in part due to successes in computational endeavors, which have produced intricate and complex simulations of the observable universe. He discusses both the cosmic web of structure in the universe and the webs of knowledge that support the modern paradigms of complex problems, like those found in physical cosmology. And finally, he examines the changing nature of the scientific endeavor -- for example, the evolution of astronomy from the early days of lone observers to large modern collaborations.