Let There be Light: The History of the Universe from the First Billion Years to the Present

Dr Bahram Mobasher

Professor of Physics and Astronomy

University of California, Riverside

Abstract of Lecture:

In this lecture we set for a journey to the depth of space and beginning of time, to a place where no one has been. A journey, which does not exhaust us physically, but enriches us intellectually. Recent advances in astronomy have made it possible to find answers to the most fundamental questions the mankind has pondered over the last many centuries. In this talk I will introduce you to the latest discoveries in modern Astronomy, which have fundamentally changed our view of the heavens- Is the Universe open or closed? How did the Universe start? What is the content of the Universe? What is the future of the Universe? What is dark matter and dark energy? We start from the beginning of the Universe and study its evolution, formation of galaxies, stars and planets over the last 13.8 billion years age of our Universe. I further discuss the history of life and how us, the humans, came to be here.

Brief Biographical Sketch:

Bahram Mobasher received his BS in Physics. He completed his studies in Observational Cosmology and was awarded MS and Ph.D from the University of Durham, England. He also has an MS degree in opt-electronics and graduate diploma in Microwave Engineering from the University of London. He did his post-doctoral research in astrophysics at the Imperial College, London. He joined the European Space Agency in the year 2000 and was a member of scientific staff at the Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, working on the Hubble Space Telescope. Since 2007, he is Professor of Physics and Observational Astronomy at the University of California, Riverside, Mobasher's research mainly concentrates on the study of formation and evolution of galaxies, search for the most distant galaxies in the universe and multi-waveband galaxy surveys. He has been a founding member of many of the largest galaxy surveys currently used. He is the author and co-author of 200 papers published in refereed journals.