Joint Science Seminar Series


Einstein's Biggest Blunder
Dr. Thomas Helliwell
From: 11:00 AM To: 12:00 PM
Thursday, Feb 11, 2010
Burns Lecture Hall
Shortly after completing his new theory of gravity in 1915, Einstein applied his theory to the universe as a whole, and got results he didn't like. So he fiddled with his theory, but was later embarrassed by the fiddling, and tried to retract it, saying it "was my biggest blunder." Amazing observations ten years ago showed that his fiddling was apparently right after all. The picture of how the universe has evolved and where it is going have been revolutionized, but the picture leads to two of the biggest open questions in physics, the nature of dark matter and the nature of dark energy. Experiments could well find evidence for particular dark matter candidates at any time, but the nature of dark energy is still a complete mystery, literally the biggest mystery in the universe.