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From time immemorial humans have been charting the night sky and trying to make sense of it and contemplating their place in the cosmos. Natarajan will recount the evolution of celestial map-making and show how maps literally track our ever evolving cosmic view. Tracing our understanding of the universe, its contents and its evolution she l talks about recent developments in our understanding of two invisible entities: dark matter and black holes.

Priyamvada Natarajan is a theoretical astrophysicist on the faculty at Yale. Her research work is focused on the invisible, unseen universe – dark matter and black holes. She uses the bending of light, gravitational lensing to map the spatial distribution of dark matter in the universe. She also works on trying to understand the formation, growth and evolution of black holes in the universe. Recipient of many honors and awards, she is deeply interested in the public understanding of science. Her first book, “Mapping the Heavens”, published last year by Yale Press was selected by Forbes magazine as one of the 10 best science books of the year.

 

Meets in the Wardell Room

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