The evolving Universe

Thu 26 March 2015 - 19:45 to 22:45

The evolving Universe:  black holes, dark matter and white stars

Thursday March 26th

19:45 live music

20:15 presentation

Café Loburg Free entrance

This Science Café we will go into space and it will be an exciting journey.

Astronomy involves the study of celestial objects (such as stars, galaxies, planets, moons, asteroids, comets and nebulae), the physics, chemistry and evolution of such objects, and phenomena that originate outside the atmosphere of Earth, including supernovae explosions, gamma ray bursts and cosmic microwave background radiation. A related but distinct subject, cosmology, is concerned with studying the universe as a whole.

Astrophysics is the branch of astronomy that deals with the physics of the Universe, especially with "the nature of the heavenly bodies, rather than their positions or motions in space".

In this Science Cafe session Prof. Frank Verbunt will discuss  the basics and some recent, exciting developments in the field of astrophysics. Over the past century, two major revolutions in astrophysics - quantum mechanics and Einstein's General Relativity - have had a remarkable impact on astronomy and our understanding of the universe. Thus, Quantum Mechanics explains the existence of compact stars like white dwarfs and neutron stars, that, combined with Einstein’s theory of General Relativity, also explains black holes. Furthermore, both theories can be combined so as to describe our Universe as a dynamic, evolving whole.

Prof. dr. Frank Verbunt is Professor of High-Energy Astrophysics at  Department of Astronomy at Radboud University Nijmegen. Before, he used to work at the Institute of Astronomy in Cambridge (UK) and Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics. He started his career researching neutron stars and white dwarfs in binaries. He later on expanded his interest to pulsars and X-ray sources in space. Prof. Verbunt is also affiliated to the SRON (Netherlands Institute for Space Research) in Utrecht. Furthermore, he spends part of his time on popularizing astronomy, for example by writing popular science books and popular science articles. In 2005 he published the book ‘The live of stars’ and he prepares the astronomy pages in BINAS, the natural science guide for Dutch high schools.

There will be live music and Jelle de Gruyter will be our moderator.