Vendredi 22 avril 2016 à 14h00
Auditoire Stueckelberg, Ecole de Physique

Shining light on the dark universe

Martin Kunz, Université de Genève, Département de Physique Théorique

Over the last decades, cosmology has turned from a more theoretical, even philosophical enterprise into a data driven field of research, and the parameters describing our universe are now being measured to percent accuracy. Unfortunately only about 5\% of the ingredients that make up the universe consist of the usual particles known to us, the rest appears to be composed of a 'dark' kind of matter and an even more mysterious 'dark energy'. I will briefly review the current state of our understanding of the large scale structure of the cosmos and how we arrive at the startling conclusion that we do not understand 95\% of the contents of the universe. I will then focus on the state of our knowledge concerning the nature of the dark energy, based on the recent measurements of the left-over radiation from the big-bang by the European Planck satellite, and finish with a brief outlook of some of the things that we hope to learn in the next decade or two.