Brian Schmidt

Lecture and Discussion: Cosmology: An Example of the Process of Discovery


Abstract

The past century has seen our understanding of the universe rise from essentially nothing to our current state where we have a highly successful model of the cosmos. Theory now is able to predict the broad range of increasingly detailed observations astronomers collect from the elemental production of the big bang, to the distribution of galaxies, but the result is highly unsatisfactory. To explain our universe we need to suppose that 95% of the Universe is made of types of matter and energy that are not yet identified. Yet, this model of the universe continues to be vindicated with experiment after experiment bearing out the predictions of the theory. In my lecture I will discuss the process of discovery that has led to our current model of the universe, focussing on where humanity went right, and where it went wrong. I will describe my vision of how the scientific process works, ponder the nature of reality, and predict where it all might lead into the future.


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