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Durham University

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St Aidan's SCR final lecture for this academic year

(11 June 2021)

The St Aidan’s Senior Common Room (SCR) is delighted to welcome a very special guest for our final lecture of the 2020/21 academic year. On Thursday 17 June we will welcome the University’s own Carlos Frenk; a world-renowned expert in the field of cosmology. Giving his lecture 'Everything from nothing: how our universe was made' virtually, we welcome all University students, staff and guests to join us for what is promising to be a fascinating finale. Please sign up using the form here.

'Everything from nothing: how our universe was made'

Cosmology addresses some of the most fundamental questions in science. How and when did our universe begin? What is it made of? How did galaxies form? There has been enormous progress towards answering these questions. For example, recent observations have established that our universe contains an unexpected mix of components: ordinary atoms, exotic dark matter and a new form of energy called dark energy. Gigantic surveys of galaxies reveal how the universe is structured. Large supercomputer simulations recreate the evolution of the universe in astonishing detail and provide the means to relate processes occurring near the beginning with observations of the universe today. A coherent picture of cosmic evolution, going back to a tiny fraction of a second after the Big Bang, is beginning to emerge. However, fundamental issues, like the identity of the dark matter and the nature of the dark energy, remain unresolved.


Carlos Frenk is the Ogden Professor of Fundamental Physics, founder and Director until 2020 of the Institute for Computational Cosmology, Durham University's world-renowned theoretical cosmology research group. He is one of the originators of the ``Cold dark matter'' theory of cosmology. Using some of the most powerful supercomputers in the world, Frenk and collaborators build models of how our Universe evolved from the Big Bang to the present and how galaxies and other structures formed. Frenk has published over 500 scientific papers and is one of the most frequently cited authors in the space science literature. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 2004 and has received numerous prizes, including the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society, the Gruber Cosmology prize, the DiRAC medal of the Institute of Physics, the Max Born medal of the German Physics Society, the Hoyle medal, the George Darwin Prize, the Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship, the Oort Professorship, etc. He was awarded a CBE in the 2017 Queen's birthday honours list. He served in the Council of the Royal Society during 2012-2015 and is currently the chair of the Royal Society Public Engagement Committee. He features regularly on radio and TV.


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