Tamara Davis (School of Mathematics and Physics, University of Queensland)

The Dark Side

Observations of the universe over the last few decades have thrown us some curve balls.  We thought we had the basic picture --- the universe is expanding, and all the structure we now see formed thanks to gravity out of little over-dense clumps in the hot, dense, early universe.  Well that was all true, but we've realised that that's not the end of the story.  There's a dark side to the universe that we don't usually see, and it seems that everything we thought we knew makes up only 5% of the universe.  Dark matter and dark energy make up the rest….

In this talk I'll explain why we are so certain of such a seemingly ludicrous proposition, and what that implies for the birth and fate of the universe.