Skip to main content area Skip to institutional navigation Skip to sub-navigation

Roberts Lecture

These talks constitute the 2011-2012 installment of Colorado College's annual Roberts Memorial Lecture.

Professor Michael S. Turner presented them at Colorado College on February 2nd and 3rd. Dr. Turner is a  is a theoretical astrophysicist and the Bruce V. and Diana M. Rauner Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago.  He is also director of the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics at Chicago, which he helped to establish. The first talk is intended for a broad audience and the second is intended for a slightly more technical audience. The Roberts fund at Colorado College made this presentation possible. The CC Physics Department thanks Professor Turner for allowing us to post this lecture for the general public.

Dark Side of the Universe: Beyond Stars and the Starstuff We Are Made Of

The sky is filled with hundreds of billions of galaxies, all lit up by their stars. However, stars account for less than one percent of the material in the universe, and galaxies are held together by a new form of matter — dark matter — that accounts for one-third of the stuff in the universe. The other two-thirds exists in an even more mysterious form — dark energy — which is causing the expansion of the universe to speed up, rather than slow down and controls its destiny. Though invisible to telescopes, the dark side of the universe has shaped what we see today and controls our destiny.

The Big Mysteries of Cosmology

Deep connections between the very large -- the cosmos -- and the very small -- quarks -- have shaped the Universe we see today and entangled the agendas of particle physics and cosmology.  I discuss the present state of cosmology and the big mysteries that point to new physics -- dark matter, dark energy, inflation and the baryon asymmetry of the Universe -- and the prospects for progress.