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How the Universe Went from Smooth to Lumpy: The Modern Origins Story

Dr. Eliot QuataertOctober 2, 2013

Dr. Eliot Quataert (University of California, Berkeley)

Listen (mp3 file, 33.9 MB)

Dr. Eliot Quataert provides an overview of the modern understanding of our origins in astrophysics. The story begins in the infant universe, which we now know was remarkably smooth compared to what we see around us today, with only tiny differences in its properties from one part to another. By contrast, in the present universe there are enormous differences in the properties of matter in different locations. Dr. Quataert describes how the universe has evolved to its current state, emphasizing how gravity reigns supreme and builds up the planets, stars, and galaxies required for biological evolution to proceed.