Colloquium: Alan Parry (Duke University)

 

Title: Mathematics Meets Astrophysics: An Overview of General Relativity and Dark Matter in Galaxies

 

Abstract: One of the most beautiful intersections of mathematics and physics is Einstein’s theory of gravity, general relativity. It has successfully resolved problems with Newton’s notion of gravity and made incredible predictions about the universe that were later verified by observations. Recently, mathematical motivations for general relativity have presented a possible and tantalizing description of dark matter, a mysterious and exotic form of matter that makes up approximately 23% of the energy density in the universe. In this talk, I will introduce for general audiences the theory of general relativity and the mathematics behind it, discuss the major successes of general relativity, and describe this model for dark matter and the recent advances that have been made in its study.

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