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Space is all around us and has inspired humans since we learnt to look up. But how much do we actually understand about the biggest structures and phenomena in the universe? Join our experts on a discussion from the very beginning of the Big Bang to the billions of galaxies we can see out in space today and make sense of the final frontier.
Dark Matter and our place in the Universe
Dr Sarah Malik (Research Fellow, Imperial College London)
The discovery that 85% of the matter in the Universe is composed of some 'dark matter' that we have little knowledge about, has revolutionized humankind's understanding of the Universe and our place in it. This talk will take you through the engineering marvel that is the world's most powerful particle collider, the Large Hadron Collider, and its quest to understand the fundamental building blocks of the Universe and answer one of the most puzzling and long standing questions in physics; what is the nature of this dark matter?
The Higgs boson and the fate of the Universe
Professor Arttu Rajantie (Professor of Theoretical Physics, Imperial College London)
The Standard Model of particle physics, which governs the building blocks of matter and has been well tested at CERN and the LHC, appears to predict that the current vacuum state of the Universe is unstable: If we wait long enough, quantum tunnelling would eventually produce bubbles of the actual negative-energy ground state, which grow at the speed of light, destroying everything in their way. I will explain what this prediction is based on, why we don’t need to worry, and how it can tell us something about the Higgs boson, gravity and the early Universe.