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16:00 - 17:00 22 March 2017
XXVII Elizabeth Spreadbury Lecture
Harrie Massey Lecture Theatre
29 Gordon Street | London | WC1H 0AY | United Kingdom
Prof. Subir Sarkar, Head, Particle Theory Group, Universities of Oxford and Copenhagen, I was educated in India, at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur and obtained my PhD (1982) at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Bombay, where I was a staff member 1979-84. Subsequently I held visiting positions at CERN Geneva, Oxford Astrophysics, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, and also worked in science education at Eklavya, Bhopal. Since 1990 I have been at Oxford - first as Glasstone Research Fellow, then PPARC Advanced Fellow, appointed University Lecturer (1998) and Professor (2006). I am an Associate of the Discovery Centre and Niels Bohr Professor at the Niels Bohr International Academy, both at the Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen where I am building up an Astroparticle Physics Group.
Cosmology beyond the standard model - The ‘standard’ model of cosmology is founded on the basis that the expansion rate of the Universe is accelerating at present – as was inferred from the Hubble diagram of Type la supernovae. There exists now a much bigger database of supernovae, so we can perform rigorous statistical tests to check whether these ‘standardisable candles’ indeed indicate cosmic acceleration. Surprisingly we find that the data are still consistent with a constant rate of expansion. This motivates discussion of the foundations of the standard model, in particular whether dark energy really exists.
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