Queensland Museum

To Infinity and Beyond: The Accelerating Universe

11/03/2016 Plaza Auditorium, Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
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Plaza Auditorium, Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre


133A Grey St, South Brisbane QLD 4101, Australia




11:30 - 13:00


Adult: $30 Concession: $25
Sean Carroll Participant Sean Carroll
Josh Frieman Participant Josh Frieman
Priya Natarajan Participant Priya Natarajan
Brian Schmidt Participant Brian Schmidt
Robyn Williams Moderator Robyn Williams

It’s modern cosmology’s biggest mystery – an unexplained energy that one day could rip the universe apart. It’s called dark energy, an anti-gravitational force that confounds the conventional laws of physics. It’s the most dominant substance in our universe, comprising nearly two-thirds of the cosmos.

And yet, two decades after its discovery, science is still grappling for an explanation of what dark energy actually is.

With today’s top astrophysicists as our guides, we’ll journey to the earliest moments of the universe – and far into the future – in search of clues to cosmology’s most vexing puzzle.

To Infinity and Beyond: The Accelerating Universe is a Signature World Science Festival event.




Meet the Speakers

Sean 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.

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.

Brian Schmidt is a Nobel Laureate and Distinguished Professor at The Australian National University (ANU).  Schmidt recently was appointed as the 12th Vice Chancellor of the ANU.  He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, The United States Academy of Science, and the Royal Society. He was made a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2013.

Under his leadership, the HighZ Supernova Search team made the startling discovery that the expansion rate of the Universe is accelerating. This work earned him the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics.”

Robyn Williams is a science journalist and broadcaster resident in Australia who has hosted the Science Show on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation since 1975, Ockham’s Razor (created 1984) and In Conversation (created 1997).

Plaza Auditorium, Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre

133A Grey St, South Brisbane QLD 4101, Australia