Meet the SpeakersSean Carroll
is a theoretical physicist at the California Institute of Technology. His research covers cosmology, field theory, dark energy, particle physics, and gravitation. Carroll is the author of The Particle at the End of the Universe, for which he won the Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books. He also wrote From Eternity to Here, which focuses on the flow of time and the origin of the universe. A regular blogger and public speaker, Carroll has appeared on The Colbert Report and Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman.Tamara Davis
is an astrophysicist who observes space in order to learn more about the physics of the world we live in. With the Universe as her laboratory, she uses the stellar and galactic experiments that the universe naturally performs to learn about the nature of gravity, spacetime, and the fundamental laws of physics.As one of most highly cited astrophysicists in the world, she is the recipient of many prizes, including the Astronomical Society of Australia's award for the young researcher with the highest international impact. She works with international teams of astrophysicists searching for the elusive ‘dark energy’ that’s accelerating the universe.Richard Easther
is a physicist who aims to understand the universe in the first moments after the Big Bang, exploring the observable consequences of different models of the very early universe. Easther and his colleagues have found new ways to test competing cosmological scenarios and the theories of ultra-high energy physics which give rise to them. Easther is a New Zealander who worked in Japan and the United States for 15 years before returning to New Zealand in 2012, where he is now a professor of physics at the University of Auckland.Josh Frieman
is a senior staff scientist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics. He’s also a member of the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics at the University of Chicago. Frieman’s research focuses on cosmology, including the study of dark energy and dark matter, the large-scale structure of the universe, supernovae, and gravitational lensing. Frieman is currently director of the Dark Energy Survey
— a five-year survey of 300 million galaxies, exploring why the universe is speeding up.Priyamvada Natarajan
is a professor in the Departments of Astronomy and Physics at Yale University. Natarajan’s research is focused on exotica in the universe — dark matter, dark energy, and black holes. She is noted for her key contributions to two of the most challenging problems in cosmology — mapping the distribution of dark matter and tracing the growth history of black holes.Her work using gravitational lensing has provided a deeper understanding of the granularity of dark matter in clusters of galaxies and offers a novel way to unravel the nature of dark matter.Michael Turner
is a theoretical astrophysicist and the Bruce V. and Diana M. Rauner Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago, and is Director of the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics at Chicago.Turner helped pioneer the interdisciplinary field of particle astrophysics and cosmology, and his contributions include predicting cosmic acceleration and coining the term "dark energy," showing how quantum fluctuations during inflation evolved into the seeds for galaxies, and several key ideas that underpin the cold dark matter theory of structure formation.