Our Universe: its beginning, flow and end
Dr. Saurya Das, Department of Physics & Astronomy
Humankind has always wondered about the fundamental contents, evolution and fate of our Universe. Fortunately, observations over the last couple of decades have provided us with many of the answers, namely that it was very small in the past, it is expanding at an accelerating rate now and that 95% of its contents is dark, i.e. cannot be observed directly. Yet important questions remain as to how our Universe began, if indeed there was a beginning, what the constituents of dark matter and dark energy are, and what is its ultimate fate. One would also like to understand why the Universe is incredibly uniform in all directions and why we have roughly equal amounts of dark matter and dark energy at the current time. In this talk, I will explain what is known about our Universe and present some new ideas to address the unknowns.
Dr. Saurya Das received his BSc in physics from Presidency University, Kolkata, India and his PhD in theoretical physics from The Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai, India in 1998. Following this, he worked as a post-doctoral fellow at Pennsylvania State University, University of Winnipeg and University of New Brunswick. He then joined the Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of Lethbridge in 2003 as an assistant professor, where he has been a full professor since 2013. He is an affiliate member of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, an executive member of Quantum Alberta, steering committee member of the Alberta Government sponsored Major Innovation Fund on Quantum Technologies, a member of the International LISA Space mission consortium and the European COST action on Quantum Gravity Phenomenology in the Multi Messenger approach. His primary areas of research are quantum gravity, cosmology and quantum information theory. His group was one of the first to compute universal corrections to certain black hole observables and to show that quantum gravity effects should be present and potentially detectable in practically all quantum systems. Das has published over 130 research articles in international journals and co-authored a book on symmetry, relativity and quantum mechanics. His research has been continuously funded by Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and other sources.