Public Lecture by Sean Carroll, California Institute of Technology
Wednesday, December 1, 2010, 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm, Cubberley Auditorium, Stanford


The twentieth century witnessed breathtaking discoveries about the nature of the cosmos.  We learned that the universe is over ten billion years old, that it is expanding, and that ordinary objects (stars, planets, human beings) comprise less than five percent of what the universe is made of.  The rest is in form of "dark matter" and "dark energy", mysterious substances that physicists are trying to understand.  I will discuss the evidence that points us to dark matter and dark energy, as well as some of the theoretical ideas that might help explain them.


Sean Carroll is a Senior Research Associate at the California Institute of Technology.  He received his Ph.D. in 1993 from Harvard University, and has previously worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Theoretical Physics at MIT and at the Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, as well as on the faculty at the University of Chicago.  His research ranges over a number of topics in theoretical physics, focusing on cosmology, field theory, particle physics, and gravitation.  Carroll is the author of From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time (2010) a popular-level book on cosmology and the arrow of time.  He has also written a graduate textbook, Spacetime and Geometry: An Introduction to General Relativity (2003) and recorded a set of lectures on cosmology for the Teaching Company.  Carroll has been awarded fellowships from the Sloan and Packard foundations, as well as the MIT Graduate Student Council Teaching Award and the Villanova University Arts and Sciences Alumni Medallion.  Carroll is a contributor to the blog Cosmic Variance.  He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, writer Jennifer Ouellette.