World-renowned cosmologist draws big crowd
Thu, 01 Dec 2011 09:58:00 GMT
An internationally renowned cosmologist spoke to a packed house last night at a University of Portsmouth public lecture about cosmic history.
Professor Carlos Frenk addressed an audience of over 300 in his talk, which discussed how cosmology confronts some of the most fundamental questions in the world of science.
The Director of the Institute for Computational Cosmology at Durham University is a world-renowned cosmologist and one of the most cited scientists in the UK. He builds model universes in state-of-the-art supercomputers, to try to understand how the structures in our Universe evolved from simple beginnings to the complex structures composed of stars and galaxies we see today.
Astronomer Dr Karen Masters from the University of Portsmouth’s Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation helped organise the lecture. She said: “It was fantastic to have hosted a talk by such an eminent cosmologist. Professor Frenk covered most of the big questions facing cosmologists; explaining both the biggest triumphs of our current cosmological model as well as places where it is facing challenges.
“My favourite part though was the question and answer session – it was inspiring to see how the audience had engaged with the topic”.
Professor Frenk spoke about how and when the Universe began, what it’s made of and how it acquired its current appearance. He also argued that it may be some years before we can answer questions surrounding fundamental issues, like the nature of dark energy, which makes cosmology an exciting field for young people to get involved with.
Bob Nichol, Professor of Astrophysics and Director of the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation said: “Professor Frenk did an amazing job of simultaneously making the lecture both informative and funny. It is a rare talent to explain such complex concepts in such a simple and human way”.