Humankind has always wondered how far the universe extends – whether it is finite or infinite? This remains one of the central questions of modern cosmology but now we can try to answer it through observations rather than just philosophise about it.
The speaker will trace the evolution of our ideas about this issue through recorded history, dealing en route with the celebrated Olbers’ ‘dark sky’ paradox for an infinite universe (and its correct resolution), and ending with contemporary studies of the cosmic microwave background – the relic thermal radiation from the Big Bang – which marks the ‘edge of the universe’ we see today.
On its 14th Anniversary, Manthan is proud to host a renowned and outstanding scientist at Manthan on a subject that should interest everyone.
Prof Subir Sarkar, Scientist
Prof Sarkar is Head, Particle Theory Group, Rudolf Peierls Centre for Theoretical Physics, University of Oxford, UK.
Subir was educated in India, at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur and obtained his PhD (1982) at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Bombay, where he was a staff member 1979-84.
Subsequently, he has held visiting positions at CERN Geneva, Oxford Astrophysics, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, and also worked in science education and outreach at Eklavya, Bhopal. Since 1990 he has been at Oxford – first as Glasstone Research Fellow, then PPARC Advanced Fellow, appointed University Lecturer (1998) and Professor (2006). He is an Affiliated Professor of the Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen and Adjunct Professor at the Raman Research Institute, Bangalore.
His main research interests are at the interface between cosmology and fundamental physics and he also works on astroparticle physics experiments like the IceCube Neutrino Observatory and the Cherenkov Telescope Array. Among other recognitions, he has been awarded the Niels Bohr Professorship (2013) and IUPAP-TIFR Homi Bhabha award (2017).