Josh Schroeder

PhD candidate, Columbia University

Dark Energy: Mysteries at the Edge of the Universe

In 1917, Albert Einstein published a paper that described a model for the universe with a kind of anti-gravity he called the "cosmological constant". Einstein was said to have called this idea his "greatest blunder" and abandoned it about a decade later. But today, new observations of the most energetic supernovae compel astrophysicists to reconsider the cosmological constant in the form of a mysterious "dark energy" that helps explain the the detailed history of the expansion of the universe. Dark energy is one of the least understood aspects of modern cosmology and theoretical physics despite making up in excess of 70 percent of the energy content of the universe. This talk will explore the history, evidence, and theories surrounding dark energy and explain what dark energy means for our current cosmological theories and the fate of the universe itself.