Simons Foundation Lectures are free public colloquia related to basic science and mathematics. These high-level talks are intended for professors, students, postdocs and business professionals, but interested people from the metropolitan area are welcome as well.
Studies of the universe across multiple wavelengths and over billions of years of cosmic evolution have revealed a stunning cosmological history. By the present day, the relatively simple structures existing in the early universe have transformed into vast networks of galaxies and black holes. How and why does this happen? What can we learn by studying these transformations?
In this lecture, Juna Kollmeier will take you on a cosmic journey, starting with the infant universe and explain the current thinking about how “structure” emerges from this humble start. She will show how giant filaments of galaxies form from extremely smooth initial conditions in the current cosmological model. She will go over structures like the Milky Way and the most massive black holes in the universe and show how these are related to one another in fundamental ways. Dr. Kollmeier will highlight not only the beauty of these structures and superstructures, as revealed by powerful telescopes, but also the deep insights about the nature of the universe that we have learned by observing them and carefully characterizing them.