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Carolina Science Cafe | The Dark Side of the Universe

August 1, 2023 @ 6:00 pm 7:00 pm

Carolina Science Cafe, Produced by Morehead Planetarium

Join us on the first Tuesday of every month for Carolina Science Cafe, Morehead Planetarium and Science Center’s free, current science awareness program. For this month, we will be joined by Adrienne Erickcek to learn about dark energy and what that means for how our universe operates.

Designed for adults, this program explores the science topics making national and international headlines and offers the chance to meet the experts behind the headlines.

Observations of the oldest light in the Universe and other astronomical measurements indicate that only 5% of the current energy content of the Universe is made of elements found on the periodic table. The other 95% is composed of dark matter and dark energy: dark matter is responsible for the growth of galaxies, while dark energy shoves galaxies apart at an accelerating rate. I will discuss how we infer the existence of dark matter and dark energy and how we hope to learn more about these key drivers of cosmic evolution.

A simulated image of the first dark matter structures to form in the universe.

About the Speaker:

Adrienne Erickcek joined the UNC physics and astronomy department in 2013 after completing a joint postdoctoral fellowship at the Canadian Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics and the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. She developed an interest in cosmology while an undergraduate student at Princeton University, and she went on to receive her Ph.D. in cosmology from Caltech. For the past several years, her research has focused on the first dark matter structures, and in 2018 she was awarded an NSF CAREER grant to investigate how to use dark matter to probe the evolution of the Universe during its first second.

Designed for adults, this program explores science topics making national and international headlines and offers the chance to meet the experts behind the headlines. The Carolina Science Café will be hosted at Gizmo Brew Works on Tuesday, August 1st, starting at 6:00 p.m. 

You do not need to register…just show up!


Morehead Planetarium and Science Center

Gizmo Brew Works

157 E Franklin St #100
Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27514 United States
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