Astrophysicist Christopher Johns-Krull explores “dark matter” and “dark energy,” mysterious components that compose 96 percent of the universe. He also sheds light on the universe’s origin, the formation and evolution of galaxies and the ultimate fate of the universe.
Over the past two decades, our understanding of our universe has deepened dramatically, while also revealing a fundamental mystery. It now appears that approximately 96 percent of the universe is composed of components called “dark matter” and “dark energy.” Their story is bound up with cosmology—the study of the universe’s origin—as well as the formation and evolution of galaxies and the ultimate fate of the universe. Astrophysicist Christopher Johns-Krull, Ph.D., explains what scientists currently understand about these topics, how they reached these conclusions and what experiments are underway and on the horizon to illuminate the mysteries of dark matter, dark energy and the fate of the universe.
Christopher Johns-Krull, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Rice University. His research focuses on observational studies of star and planet formation, with a particular emphasis on the search for extra-solar planets orbiting very young stars. Recently, teams led by Dr. Johns-Krull announced the discovery of a hot Jupiter orbiting a 2-million-year-old star. They also found evidence that a hot Jupiter orbiting another young star is being evaporated by intense radiation from the star. Dr. Johns-Krull has also taken part in the discovery of several additional hot Jupiters orbiting middle-aged stars like the sun.
Term: Fall 2017
Start Date: Sept. 27, 2017
End Date: Nov. 08, 2017
Schedule: 7–8:30 p.m.
Length: Six Wednesdays (no class Oct. 25)
Location: Rice campus
Early Registration: $180 if registering by Sept.13
+ Galaxies: the Milky Way and other island universes
+ Dark matter: evidence and its role in galaxies
+ Looking back in time: galaxy formation and the early universe
+ The birth of the universe: the Big Bang and the expanding universe
+ Precision cosmology and the accelerating universe
+ Dark energy, new experiments and the fate of the universe