Nobel Colloquium: Surveying the Accelerating Universe with Supernovae
March 5, 2012 - 10:00am
Marcus Nanotech Conf.
In 1998 two rival teams of astronomers studying exploding white dwarf stars, called type Ia supernovae, came to the surprising conclusion that the expansion of the Universe is speeding up. This discovery of "the accelerating Universe" ushered in a revolution in our cosmological understanding. I will describe the steps leading to this discovery, and how observations of supernovae from telescopes on the ground and in space can be used to trace the history of cosmic expansion. The continued study of these stellar explosions will shed light on the mysterious "dark energy" that dominates and drives our accelerating Universe.