St. Louis Astronomical Society Meeting - Cosmic Roller Coaster
Ian Redmount is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physics at Saint Louis University. He received his PhD from the California Institute of Technology and held several research positions before accepting the faculty position at Saint Louis University in 1993. His research interests include black holes, spacetime wormholes, cosmology, and quantum field theory.
An amusement park’s roller coaster’s motion is determined by gravity and by the shape and structure of the coaster tracks. Motion in the universe – our solar system, the Milky Way galaxy, and beyond - is also determined largely by gravity. The “tracks” are the actual shape of the universe, with matter and energy altering the basic geometry of space. Dr. Redmount will talk about the cosmic roller coaster – how Einstein’s General Relativity Theory allows us to understand how and why space is curved. He explains: “The profile of the cosmic roller coaster is determined by the matter and energy content of the Universe. As farther-reaching observations have shown us more and more of the history of the cosmos, we have refined and modified our understanding of the stuff of which it is made, introducing “dark matter” and “dark energy” into our lexicon. Recently researchers at Saint Louis University have introduced a model of the Universe dominated by tachyons, faster-than-light particles. This model makes predictions similar, but not identical, to those of what has come over the last two decades to be called the Standard Model.”
The St. Louis Astronomical Society is an organization for individuals interested in astronomy and telescopes. The public is invited to attend its meetings, telescope observing sessions, and special events. For more information about Astronomical Society events, please visit www.slasonline.org or call 314-962-9231. The event, cosponsored by NASA's Missouri Space Grant Consortium, is open to the public free of charge.
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