Mapping the heavens: The radical scientific ideas that reveal the cosmos

7.00pm to 8.30pm, Monday 11 September

The Theatre

This event has already taken place

  • Credit: Hubble via Nasa
  • Priyamvada Natarajan

    Credit: Priyamvada Natarajan


Standard £16


Concession £10


Ri Members and Ri Patrons £7

Event description

Advances in cosmology have led to the discovery of dark matter and dark energy, mysterious forces that shape our Universe. But how do you map what you cannot see? Astrophysicist Priyamvada Natarajan will be your guide to the biggest questions in modern astrophysics and their surprising answers. She will take us on a journey through some of the radical scientific ideas that shape our current cosmic view.

About the speaker

Priyamvada Natarajan is a theoretical astrophysicist interested in cosmology, gravitational lensing and black hole physics. Her research at Yale University involves mapping the detailed distribution of dark matter in the universe, exploiting the bending of light en-route to us from distant galaxies. In particular, she has focused on making dark matter maps of clusters of galaxies, the largest known repositories of dark matter. Gravitational lensing by clusters can also be utilized to constrain dark energy models and she has been developing the methodology and techniques to do so. Her work has demonstrated that cluster strong lensing offers a unique and potentially powerful laboratory to test evolving dark energy models.

Book signing

Copies of Priyamvada's book, Mapping the Heavens, will be available for purchase and signing after the talk.


The doors will open at approximately 6:30pm, with a prompt start at 7:00pm. There will be time for questions after the talk.

Become a member

Benefit from free and better than half-price tickets, special offers and access to the CHRISTMAS LECTURES ticket ballot.

Join todayGo