Compton Lectures

Before the Beginning to After the End

74th Compton Lecture Series

by Mark Wyman

Every Saturday morning beginning October 1, through December 10, 2011;
lectures start at 11:00 a.m. (No lectures on November 26th [Thanksgiving] and December 3rd [Physics With a Bang]).

Kersten Physics Teaching Center 5720 S. Ellis Avenue, Room 106 Chicago, IL 60637

We will hear the tale of the Cosmos, beginning with the epoch before the Big Bang and concluding with extrapolations into the far future. We will begin with the first fourteen billion years of cosmological history, explaining how theorists and observers have worked together to establish a consensus model for cosmology. We can now account for most of what we see in the cosmos with just six numbers. But, cosmology is not yet finished: our inability to connect this model to fundamental physics is leading us into crisis. In the second half of the series, we'll learn about these crises of contemporary cosmology -- and hear some speculations about how they might be resolved. History will look back on these years as the golden age of cosmology. Cosmological observations have never been better. Theory has rarely been more confused. Dr. Wyman will provide a glimpse into the minds of today's cosmologists: towards what they are bending their thoughts and what kinds of radical breakthroughs they hope to discover.

Lecture 1: Introduction (Oct. 1)

Lecture 2: In the beginning: Inflation (Oct. 8)

Lecture 3: Let there be light: the Big Bang (Oct. 16)

Lecture 4: The Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (Oct. 22)

Lecture 5: Structure: The Rise (and Infall) of Dark Matter (Oct. 29)

Lecture 6: The Dark Energy Crisis (Nov. 5th)

Lecture 7: Speculations in Cosmology I: Extra Dimensions (Nov. 12th)

Lecture 8: Speculations in Cosmology II: Massive Gravity (Nov. 19th)

(two week hiatus)

Lecture 9: The eternal silence of these infinite spaces terrifies me -- The Future of the Universe (Dec. 10th)

Recommended websites on cosmology
Email me: markwy - at - oddjob - dot - uchicago -d- edu

Go to main page.

last updated: 19 November 2011