From Mars to the Multiverse

Sep 01, 2017
  • 7:30 PM
  • Location:
    Hebb Main Lecture Theatre
    2045 East Mall, UBC
    Vancouver, BC

Lecturer: Prof. Lord Martin Rees

In the year 2017, unmanned spacecraft have visited all the planets of our Solar System, and even some of their moons, and extensively explored Mars. Many thousands of planets have been found orbiting other stars—some of these planets even resembling our Earth. Looking further afield, observers have probed galaxies and the massive back holes at their centres, and checked models of their evolution by detecting them all the way back to their formation. Indeed we can trace pre-galactic history back to a nanosecond after the ‘Big Bang’. But the key features of our universe—its expansion rate, geometry and content—were established far earlier even than this, at a time that precision measurements are now trying to probe.

All these advances pose new questions: What does the long-range cosmic future hold? Should we be surprised at the emergence of life? Is physical reality even vaster than what we can see? Are there many ‘big bangs’ and many universes? In this illustrated talk I will address these questions.

Prof. Martin Rees (Baron Rees of Ludlow):
Martin Rees is one of the pioneers of modern astrophysics, and played a key role in our understanding of black holes. He has also been successively Astronomer Royal (UK), and President of the Royal Society (London). He is well-known to the general public for his popular books and for his public lectures.