The Dark Side of the Cosmos


This lecture series by Professor Joseph Silk explores the dark side of the cosmos and how the universe began.

The most compact objects that shine in the universe are neutron stars. Black holes are even more compact objects that we view indirectly as matter accretes and heats up around them. Professor Silk describes the state of our knowledge of neutron stars and black holes, and how new observations of gravity waves are poised to revolutionise this field.

The dark side of the universe is pervasive. Most of the matter in the universe is dark, most of the energy in the universe is dark. Many searches are underway, on mountain peaks, in deep underground mines, and in space, to discover more about dark matters. Many new telescopes are being constructed on high mountaintops and in space to search for traces of dark energy.

Where did we come from? This question has intrigued human thought forever. Professor Silk explores the modern scientist’s view of the origin of the cosmos. Here is the sequence: from an uncertain beginning, due to limitations in our knowledge that arise from our ongoing search for a theory that unites quantum theory with gravity, to a primordial ball of fire. Glowing embers condensed from the expanding and cooling fireball to form the billions of galaxies and stars that glitter in the night sky.