2006 Lecturer: Saul Perlmutter

Saul Perlmutter, Professor of Physics at the University of California at Berkeley and astrophysicist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), gave the 2006 Ford Motor Company Distinguished Lecture in Physics.

The lecture was held on Wednesday, March 29, 2006, in 1324 East Hall Auditorium at 4:15 PM with a reception preceding it at 3:30 PM on the first floor of the East Hall North Atrium (located directly behind the lecture hall facing Church Street).

Supernovae, Dark Energy, and the Accelerating Universe -- What Next?

How can we explore the properties of the mysterious “dark energy” that is apparently accelerating the expansion of the universe? A new generation of projects is now starting to collect data with the aim of making a more precise and accurate measurement of the universe’s expansion history. These measurements — primarily using supernovae as “calibrated candles” — are still the most direct way to constrain dark energy’s properties. He will discuss the most recent results from these and other approaches, including several in the advanced planning stage. The challenge that we face is to control the systematic uncertainties at the exquisitely precise level necessary to help point us towards the best models of dark energy. Such demanding measurement requirements have lead to the design of the proposed SNAP/JDEM space telescope.