Over the past few decades, astronomers have for the first time identified the major constituents of the universe. Unexpectedly, the universe hardly resembles what we thought only a couple of decades ago. The universe is filled with dark matter more abundant than ordinary matter and dark energy that is causing a runaway acceleration. We do not yet have a complete picture of this unexpected universe. Some discrepancies may be hinting at new discoveries to come. New giant telescopes planned for the next decade are likely to reveal more surprises. In her lecture, Professor Freedman will describe these recent advances.
Prof. Wendy Freedman is an internationally renowned astronomer, best known for her role as co-leader of the Hubble Key Project that measured the expansion of the Universe by studying the most distant supernova explosions. She received her PhD from the University of Toronto in 1984 before taking up a postdoctoral fellowship at the Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena. She rose through the ranks, becoming director of the Carnegie Observatories in 2003 where she initiated the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) project, before moving to the University of Chicago in 2015 where she is presently the John & Marion Sullivan University Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics.