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Archive for 2013

How Galaxies were Cooked from the Primordial Soup

February 6, 2013

Dr. Sandra Faber (University of California, Santa Cruz and University of California Observatories)

Listen (mp3 file, 29.5 MB)

The lumpiness of today’s universe of galaxies is a fundamental characteristic that took billions of years to grow. Dr. Faber reviews the prevailing “Cold Dark Matter” theory for galaxy formation (which she helped create)  and compares its predictions to present-day observations.  It’s a remarkable saga involving invisible dark energy and matter, the properties of the Universe an instant after it was born, and the creation of structure from quantum fluctuations.  (Just a few days before giving this talk, Dr. Faber received the 2013 National Medal of Science from President Obama, and she shares an anecdote from that ceremony.)