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The dark Universe

Explore the frontier of understanding about the invisible forces in our Universe with Lucie Green, Adam Reiss and other leading cosmologists

Computer simulation of one possible scenario for the large-scale distribution of light sources in the Universe.
Andrew Pontzen and Fabio Governato ( [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Event description

We now think the Universe is packed with invisible materials – dark matter and dark energy – pulling and pushing the parts that we see. Join BBC Stargazing Live and Sky at Night presenter, Lucie Green as she explores this frontier of understanding with Nobel laureate Adam Riess and other leading cosmologists.

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About the speakers

Adam Riess is an astrophysicist at Johns Hopkins University and the Space Telescope Science Institute. Riess shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2011 for providing evidence that the expansion of the Universe is accelerating. More recently, he has also been awarded the Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics, adding to his many awards and prizes over the years.

Lucie Green is a space scientist based at UCL’s Department of Space and Climate Physics. She studies the atmosphere of the Sun, particularly the immense magnetic fields which sporadically erupt into the Solar System. She is also actively involved in public engagement with science, regularly giving public talks and presenting TV and radio programmes.

Risa Wechsler is an astrophysicist and a professor at the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology at Stanford University and the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.  Wechsler's work combines massive cosmological simulations with large galaxy surveys that are mapping the Universe, to study the nature of dark energy, dark matter, and the formation of galaxies. She is currently leading the science collaboration of the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument, which will make a 3D map of 30 million galaxies to elucidate the structure of the Universe.

Dr. Renée Hlozek is the Lyman Spitzer Jr. Postdoctoral Fellow in Theoretical Astrophysics in at Princeton University; the Spitzer-Cotsen Fellow in the Princeton Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts and is currently a Senior TED Fellow.  In 2011, she received her DPhil in Astrophysics from Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar from the class of South-Africa-at-Large and Christ Church, 2008. Her research focuses on theoretical cosmology; as a member of the Atacama Cosmology Telescope she measures the Cosmic Microwave Background radiation to decipher the initial conditions of the universe.